Section : Conference Notes

Possible involvement of the dermis in the pathogenesis of vitiligo (For Professionals)

  • Vitiligo is characterized by the functional loss of melanocytes which induces the well delineated depigmented characteristic lesions.
  • Anomalies have been detected in:
    • melanocytes (mitochondria…)
    • keratinocytes (altered oxydation status in the mitochondria, vaculolization…)
    • dermis (high level of tenascin expression which explains defective adhesion of the melanocytes)
  • The authors have found similar defects in fibroblast cells in the dermis when compared to normal fibroblasts:
    • altered membrane lipid (mainly cholesterol and cardiolipin) probably secondary to:
    • reactive oxygen species (ROS) hyperproduction.
    • deregulation of lipid-mediated intracellular signalling:
      • ERK and JNK phosphorylation
      • altered p38

Conclusion: normalization of fibroblast membrane structure could be crucial to improving vitiligo


Dr Christophe HSU – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland
Source of Information: Possible dermal involvement in vitiligo pathogenesis. M Dell’Anna, D Kovacs, M Ottaviani, E Bastonini and M Picardo Lab Cutaneous Physiopathology & CIRM, San Gallicano Dermatologic Institute, Rome, Italy.  International Investigative Dermatology (IID) 2013 – Edinburgh, United Kingdom (UK).