A new treatment option for Vitiligo ?
Reagents inducing epidermal proliferation also induce pigmentation: induction of keratinocyte proliferation as a novel strategy for the treatment of vitiligo.
Wu CS, Komine M, Fujimoto S, Ohmatsu H, Kikuchi K, Tada Y, Yu HS, Ohtsuki M, Tamaki K.
J Dermatol Sci. 2013 Oct;72(1):66-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2013.05.005. Epub 2013 Jun 18. No abstract available.
- Vitiligo affects 1% of the population and is a challenge to treat. Topical treatment s (tacroimus, steroids), phototherapy often achieve partial results although being used for a long duration…often to recur after the treatment is stopped. Cellular transplants are another option but are notoriously ineffective in segmental vitiligo as well as on joints and acral areas.
- The study suggests that epidermal keratinocytes could be the target of vitiligo treatment, and that reagents that induce keratinocyte proliferation may induce repigmentation.
- After 28 days of application in guinea pigs:
- Tretinoin tocoferil-treated skin showed marked pigmentation and epidermal acanthosis with slight infiltration of lymphoid cells
- This substance was applied in addition to phototherapy (NBUVB) or steroid treatment in 15 volunteers with vitiligo
- In humans:
- In 10 patients, repigmentation was seen in 25-50% of lesions
- In three patients repigmentation was very effective and needed no further treatment
This ointment exists commercially as 0.25% tretinoin-tocoferil ointment (Pola Pharma Inc. Tokyo, Japan).
The study was supported by a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Contributors Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland