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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2015;11(12):1335-51. doi: 10.1586/1744666X.2015.1085306. Epub 2015 Sep 7.

The role of lymphocytes in the development and treatment of alopecia areata.

Author information

1
a 1 Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
2
b 2 Department of Dermatology, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China.
3
c 3 Department of Dermatology, New York University, Langone Medical Center, New York, USA.
4
d 4 Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

Alopecia areata (AA) development is associated with both innate and adaptive immune cell activation, migration to peri- and intra-follicular regions, and hair follicle disruption. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocytes are abundant in AA lesions; however, CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes are more likely to enter inside hair follicles, circumstantially suggesting that they have a significant role to play in AA development. Several rodent models recapitulate important features of the human autoimmune disease and demonstrate that CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes are fundamentally required for AA induction and perpetuation. However, the initiating events, the self-antigens involved, and the molecular signaling pathways, all need further exploration. Studying CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes and their fate decisions in AA development may reveal new and improved treatment approaches.

KEYWORDS:

alopecia areata; autoimmune inflammation; hair follicles; lymphocytes; pathogenesis; treatment

PMID:
26548356
PMCID:
PMC5148616
DOI:
10.1586/1744666X.2015.1085306
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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