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J Dermatol. 2013 May;40(5):399-401. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.12128.

Alopecia areata possibly induced by autoimmune reaction in a patient with human T-cell lymphotropic virus-1-associated myelopathy.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, USA. itoutai@hama-med.ac.jp


A 38-year-old female patient suffered from alopecia areata totalis followed by human T-cell lymphotropic virus-1-associated myelopathy (HAM). These two diseases have recently been considered to be related to cell-mediated autoimmune reactions. Immunohistochemistry revealed accumulation of CXCR3+ CD8+ T cells around hair bulbs in alopecic lesions. Furthermore, flow cytometric analysis showed the elevated frequency of CD8+ human leukocyte antigen DR+ -activated T cells at the initial time and declined at the hair regrowth phase with HAM. CD4+ CD25+ adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma cells were elevated at hair loss phase and decreased after improvement of hair loss. These results suggest that autoreactive and cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells induce not only alopecia areata but also HAM in ATL patients. This case highlights that the autoimmune reactions may play an important role in the pathogenesis of alopecia areata and HAM.

© 2013 Japanese Dermatological Association.

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