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Yonsei Med J. 1995 Nov;36(5):457-61.

Detection of antibodies to human melanoma cell in vitiligo by western blot analysis.

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Department of Dermatology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Vitiligo is a disease in which melanocytes are selectively destroyed. The disease is thought to be an autoimmune process being there are antibodies to pigment cells in the sera of patients and animals with vitiligo. In the present study, sera from vitiligo patients were examined for reactivity with the human melanoma cell line, SK-Mel-28, by Western blot analysis of solubilized membrane antigens of these cells to identify the pigment cell antigens defined by antibodies in the patients with vitiligo. Antibody reactivity to human melanoma cells (SK-Mel-28) was investigated in 14 patients with vitiligo, and 16 with normal control individuals. Antibodies to the 116-113, 60, 40 KD antigens were associated with vitiligo being present in 79%, 86%, and 43% respectively of the patients with vitiligo, but in only 6%, 38% and 6% of the normal controls. In contrast, antibodies to the 160-155, 78 and 64 KD antigens were equally common in vitiligo and in normal individuals. The results suggest that autoreactivity to pigment cells occurs more commonly in patients with vitiligo than in the normal control and high autoreactivity to pigment cells in the vitiligo sera might be an impertinent epiphemenon to destroyed pigment cell.

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