Genetic and Epidermic Research

Epidermis and genetic research

Professor Richard Spritz’s research group at the University of Colorado in the United States has conducted numerous key investigations on the genetic basis of vitiligo in recent years. They summarize in their most recent publication (Nature Genetics 2012; 44: 676-80) that most genes that suggest vitiligo susceptibility are connected with proteins or sections of the pigment cell that are critical for immune system function.

Some fascinating research on the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin, where the pigment cells are located) in vitiligo has emerged from Dalian, China. Dr. Lui and colleagues (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 2010; 23: 193-200) pointed out that changes in skin biophysical properties in vitiligo have yet to be thoroughly described, according to investigations. The researchers looked at the hydration of the stratum corneum (SC), skin surface acidity, and epidermal permeability barrier function in vitiligo. They discovered that, in addition to SC hydration, vitiligo skin had much lower melanin and erythema index than non-lesional skin, whereas there was no difference in skin surface acidity between vitiligo-involved and uninvolved areas. Furthermore, the SC integrity in the affected areas was comparable to that in the unaffected areas. Barrier regeneration in vitiligo-affected locations, on the other hand, was substantially slower than in unaffected sites.

 

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