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Clin Exp Dermatol. 2010 Jul;35(5):487-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03617.x. Epub 2009 Oct 23.

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor in patients with vitiligo and relationship between duration and clinical type of disease.

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Department of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Public Health Faculty of Medicine, Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey.



Vitiligo is a disorder of pigmentation characterized by the presence of depigmented skin macules. Cellular immunity is known to have a role in the pathogenesis of vitiligo. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a potent activator of macrophages and is considered to play an important role in cell-mediated immunity.


To determine serum level of MIF in patients with vitiligo and compare with healthy controls. We also aimed to determine whether there is a relationship between MIF levels and the disease duration, clinical vitiligo and involved body surface area (BSA) in patients with vitiligo.


The study group comprised 30 patients with vitiligo (14 men, 16 women) and 30 healthy controls, matched for age and gender. Blood samples were taken for MIF analysis.


The mean serum level of MIF in patients with vitiligo (40.83 +/- 31.66 pg/mL) was significantly higher than that of the control group (21.00 +/- 6.48 pg/mL) (P = 0.002). There was a positive correlation between disease duration and MIF levels (r = 0.601, P < 0.001). Mean MIF level of patients with acral and acrofacial vitiligo (n = 6) was 48.25 +/- 32.02 pg/mL, and of patients generalized vitiligo (n = 18) was 44.46 +/- 35.25 pg/mL. There was no significant difference between these two groups (P > 0.05). However there was a significant difference in MIF levels between patients with localized (20.41 +/- 5.23, n = 5) and acral-acrofacial (P = 0.02) vitiligo and those with generalized (P = 0.006) vitiligo. There was no relationship between BSA and MIF levels.


Mean serum MIF level of patients with vitiligo was higher than that of controls, indicating that MIF has a role in the pathogenesis of vitiligo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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