Evaluation of Subtypes of Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes in Patients with Vitiligo

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Pathology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Professor of Dermatology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Professor of Immunology, Immunology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

6 Specialist in Social Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

7 Pathology departmentResident of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

8 Dermatologist, Mashhad, Iran


Vitiligo is characterized with white patches on the skin and alteration of melanocytes in dermoepidermal junction. Autoimmune mechanisms with an underlying genetic predisposition are the most likely causes of vitiligo. This study was performed to evaluate immune disturbance in vitiligo and clarify its more details.
Materials and Methods
A total of 29 vitiligo patients and 21 healthy controls were included in this case control study.
Complete blood count was measured and peripheral blood samples were evaluated flowcytometrically for surface antigenic markers including CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD16, CD56 and CD25 for determining the percentage and total number of various lymphocyte subgroups. Patients with different clinical subtypes were compared with each other and controls in terms of the flowcytometry results. Obtained information was assessed by SPSS statistical software.
Total numbers of CD3+, CD8+ T cells, B cells and CD25+ cells were significantly increased in generalized type vitiligo patients in comparison with localized type. CD25+ cells were also increased significantly in generalized and stable types of vitiligo compared with healthy controls and finally the total number of lymphocytes was significantly decreased in localized type vitiligo patients in comparison with healthy controls.
Our data indicate cellular immune disturbance in vitiligo. Disorders of immune regulatory system may play a major role in this context. Significant CD25+ or regulatory T cells increment in different clinical subtypes of the disease is in favor of the above hypothesis. Later and larger studies may result in new and effective routs of treatment for vitiligo acting through regulating immune system.


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