Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-14

Serum concentration of IL-6, IL-2, TNF-α, and IFNγ in Vitiligo patients

1 Division of Immunopathology, Department of Pathology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2 Department of Dermatology, and Venereology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

Correspondence Address:
Suman Singh
Division of Immunopathology, Department of Pathology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.92668

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Background: Vitiligo is an acquired depigmenting disorder characterized by the loss of functional melanocytes from the epidermis. Although the etiology of vitiligo is unknown, over the last few years, substantial data from clinical research has greatly supported the 'Autoimmune theory' and this is supported by the frequent association of vitiligo with disorders that have an autoimmune origin, including Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves disease, type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and Addison's disease. As cytokines are important mediators of immunity, there is evidence to suggest that they play a major role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Aim: Keeping this in view we have assayed sera for cytokine IL-6, IL-2, Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IFNγ in 80 cases of vitiligo and compared it with healthy subjects, in order to find out whether they play a role in the pathogenesis of vitiligo or not. Materials and Methods: Serum IL-6, IL-2, TNF-α, and IFNγ were done by the indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: The mean serum IL-6 and IL-2 levels in the patient group were significantly higher when compared with those of the normal controls. The mean serum IFNγ level in patients with vitiligo was significantly lower than that in the control group. There was no significant difference in the serum level of TNF-α between vitiligo and healthy controls. Conclusion : An increase in the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and IL-2 in vitiligo patients may play an important role in melanocytic cytotoxicity. Thus, we speculate that the cytokine production of epidermal microenvironment may be involved in vitiligo.

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