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Perspectives of New Advances in the Pathogenesis of Vitiligo: From Oxidative Stress to Autoimmunity

Yinghan Wang, Shuli Li, Chunying Li

(Department of Dermatology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:1017-1023

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.914898

ABSTRACT: Vitiligo is an autoimmune cutaneous disease in which melanocytes are destroyed by CD8⁺ T cells resulting in disfiguring white spots. From the very beginning of the disease, oxidative stress plays a significant role in promoting the onset of vitiligo, as noted by many studies. Multiple factors lead to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and collaboratively cause ROS accumulation in vulnerable melanocytes. However, ROS are responsible for melanocyte damage manifested by the level of molecules, organelles, and cells, and the generation of autoantigens, through different pathways related to the dysregulation of melanocytes. Recent studies have shown that presentation of autoantigens is mediated by innate immunity, which bridges the gap between oxidative stress and adaptive immunity. The recruitment of CD8⁺ T cells induced by cytokines and chemokines guarantees the final destruction of epidermal melanocytes. Moreover, emerging concerns regarding regulatory T cells and resident memory T cells help explain the reinstatement and relapse of vitiligo. Here, we provide new perspectives in the advances in understanding of this disease pathogenesis and we attempt to find more interrelationships between oxidative stress and autoimmunity.

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