The genetics of generalized vitiligo: autoimmune pathways and an inverse relationship with malignant melanoma.
ABSTRACT: Generalized vitiligo (GV) is the most common pigmentation disease, in which white spots of skin and overlying hair result from loss of melanocytes from the involved regions. GV is a complex disease involving both genetic predisposition and unknown environmental triggers. Whereas various pathogenetic mechanisms have been suggested, most evidence supports an autoimmune basis for this disease. Recently, three different genome-wide association studies of GV have been reported, identifying a total of 17 confirmed GV susceptibility loci. Almost all of these genes encode immunoregulatory proteins, together highlighting pathways by which melanocytes might be recognized and killed. Moreover, the biological interaction between two of these GV susceptibility genes, HLA-A and TYR (encoding tyrosinase), points to an apparent inverse relationship between susceptibility to GV versus malignant melanoma, suggesting that GV may result, in part, from dysregulation of normal processes of immune surveillance against melanoma.
Project description:Vitiligo is an acquired disease characterized principally by patchy depigmentation of skin and overlying hair. Generalized vitiligo (GV), the predominant form of the disorder, results from autoimmune loss of melanocytes from affected regions. GV is a "complex trait", inherited in a non-Mendelian polygenic, multifactorial manner. GV is epidemiologically associated with other autoimmune diseases, both in GV patients and in their close relatives, suggesting that shared genes underlie susceptibility to this group of diseases. Early candidate gene association studies yielded a few successes, such as PTPN22, but most such reports now appear to be false-positives. Subsequent genomewide linkage studies identified NLRP1 and XBP1, apparent true GV susceptibility genes involved in immune regulation, and recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of GV in Caucasian and Chinese populations have yielded a large number of additional validated GV susceptibility genes. Together, these genes highlight biological systems and pathways that reach from the immune cells to the melanocyte, and provide insights into both disease pathogenesis and potential new targets for both treatment and even prevention of GV and other autoimmune diseases in genetically susceptible individuals.
Project description:Generalized vitiligo (GV) is a complex disease in which patchy depigmentation results from autoimmune loss of melanocytes from affected regions. Genetic analyses of GV span six decades, with the goal of understanding biological mechanisms and elucidating pathways that underlie the disease. The earliest studies attempted to describe the mode of inheritance and genetic epidemiology. Early genetic association studies of biological candidate genes resulted in some successes, principally HLA and PTPN22, but in hindsight many such reports now seem to be false-positives. Later, genome-wide linkage studies of multiplex GV families identified NLRP1 and XBP1, which appear to be valid GV susceptibility genes that control key aspects of immune regulation. Recently, the application of genome-wide association studies to analysis of GV has produced a rich yield of validated GV susceptibility genes that encode components of biological pathways reaching from immune cells to the melanocyte. These genes and pathways provide insights into underlying pathogenetic mechanisms and possible triggers of GV, establish relationships to other autoimmune diseases, and may provide clues to potential new approaches to GV treatment and perhaps even prevention. These results thus validate the hopes and efforts of the early investigators who first attempted to comprehend the genetic basis of vitiligo.
Project description:Vitiligo is a complex disorder in which autoimmune destruction of melanocytes results in white patches of skin and overlying hair. Over the past several years, extensive genetic studies have outlined a biological framework of vitiligo pathobiology that underscores its relationship to other autoimmune diseases. This biological framework offers insight into both vitiligo pathogenesis and perhaps avenues towards more effective approaches to treatment and even disease prevention.
Project description:Vitiligo is a chronic stigmatizing disease, already known for millennia, which mainly affects melanocytes from epidermis basal layer, leading to the development of hypochromic and achromic patches. Its estimated prevalence is 0.5% worldwide. The involvement of genetic factors controlling susceptibility to vitiligo has been studied over the last decades, and results of previous studies present vitiligo as a complex, multifactorial and polygenic disease. In this context, a few genes, including DDR1, XBP1 and NLRP1 have been consistently and functionally associated with the disease. Notwithstanding, environmental factors that precipitate or maintain the disease are yet to be described. The pathogenesis of vitiligo has not been totally clarified until now and many theories have been proposed. Of these, the autoimmune hypothesis is now the most cited and studied among experts. Dysfunction in metabolic pathways, which could lead to production of toxic metabolites causing damage to melanocytes, has also been investigated. Melanocytes adhesion deficit in patients with vitiligo is mainly speculated by the appearance of Köebner phenomenon, recently, new genes and proteins involved in this deficit have been found.
Project description:Generalized vitiligo is a common autoimmune disorder characterized by the development of white patches of skin and overlying hair due to loss of pigment-forming melanocytes from the involved areas. Family clustering of cases is not uncommon, in a pattern suggestive of multifactorial, polygenic inheritance, and there is strong association between vitiligo and other autoimmune diseases. To map genetic loci that confer susceptibility to generalized vitiligo and perhaps other autoimmune diseases, we performed a genomewide linkage scan in 71 white multiplex families with vitiligo from North America and the United Kingdom. Linkage was assessed by multipoint nonparametric linkage analyses. One linkage signal, AIS1, located at 1p31, met genomewide criteria for highly significant linkage (nonparametric LOD 5.56; P=.000000282), establishing its importance as a major vitiligo susceptibility locus. An additional seven signals, on chromosomes 1, 7, 8, 11, 19, and 22, met genomewide criteria for "suggestive linkage," and will thus be of particular importance for follow-up studies.
Project description:Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is a paracrine inhibitor of melanocytes and genetic variability due to intron 1 polymorphisms in IFNG has been reported to be associated with increased risk for several autoimmune diseases. The aim of present study was to determine whether intron 1 +874A/T (rs2430561) and CA microsatellite (rs3138557) polymorphisms in IFNG are associated with generalized vitiligo (GV) susceptibility and expression of IFNG and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1) affects the disease onset and progression. Here we report that IFNG CA microsatellite but not +874A/T may be a genetic risk factor for GV; however, +874T allele plays a crucial role in increased expression of IFNG mRNA and protein levels which could affect the onset and progression of the disease. Active GV patients showed increased IFNG levels compared to stable GV patients. The genotype-phenotype analysis revealed that IFNG expression levels were higher in patients with +874 TT genotypes and 12 CA repeats. Patients with the early age of onset showed higher IFNG expression and female GV patients showed higher IFNG and ICAM1 expression implicating gender biasness and involvement of IFN-γ in early onset of the disease. Moreover, the increased IFN-γ levels in patients lead to increased ICAM1 expression, which could be a probable link between cytokines and T-cell involvement in pathogenesis of GV.
Project description:Vitiligo, an acquired depigmentation disorder, manifests as white macules on the skin and can cause significant psychological stress and stigmatization. Recent advances have shed light on key components that drive disease onset and progression as well as therapeutic approaches. Vitiligo can be triggered by stress to the melanin pigment-producing cells of the skin, the melanocytes. The triggers, which range from sunburn to mechanical trauma and chemical exposures, ultimately cause an autoimmune response that targets melanocytes, driving progressive skin depigmentation. The most significant progress in our understanding of disease etiology has been made on three fronts: (1) identifying cellular responses to stress, including antioxidant pathways and the unfolded protein response (UPR), as key players in disease onset, (2) characterizing immune responses that target melanocytes and drive disease progression, and (3) identifying major susceptibility genes. The current model for vitiligo pathogenesis postulates that oxidative stress causes cellular disruptions, including interruption of protein maturation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), leading to the activation of the UPR and expression of UPR-regulated chemokines such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and IL-8. These chemokines recruit immune components to the skin, causing melanocytes to be targeted for destruction. Oxidative stress can further increase melanocyte targeting by promoting antigen presentation. Two key components of the autoimmune response that promote disease progression are the interferon (IFN)-?/CXCL10 axis and IL-17-mediated responses. Several genome-wide association studies support a role for these pathways, with the antioxidant gene NRF2, UPR gene XBP1, and numerous immune-related genes including class I and class II major histocompatibility genes associated with a risk for developing vitiligo. Novel approaches to promote repigmentation in vitiligo are being investigated and may yield effective, long-lasting therapies.
Project description:Monobenzone is a 4-substituted phenol that can induce vitiligo and antimelanoma immunity. We investigated the influence of the chemical structure on the biological activity of a series of structurally related 4-substituted phenols. All phenols inhibited cellular melanin synthesis, and eight of ten phenols inhibited tyrosinase activity, using the MBTH assay. These phenols also induced glutathione (GSH) depletion, indicative of quinone formation and protein thiol binding, which can increase the immunogenicity of melanosomal proteins. Specific T-cell activation was found upon stimulation with phenol-exposed pigmented cells, which also reacted with unexposed cells. In contrast, 4-tertbutylphenol induced immune activation was not restricted to pigment cells, analogous to contact sensitization. We conclude that 4-substituted phenols can induce specific T-cell responses against melanocytes and melanoma cells, also acting at distant, unexposed body sites, and may confer a risk of chemical vitiligo. Conversely, these phenols may be applicable to induce specific antimelanoma immunity.
Project description:T-cell cytolytic activity targeting epidermal melanocytes is shown to cause progressive depigmentation and autoimmune vitiligo. By using the recently developed transgenic mice h3TA2 that carry T cells with a HLA-A2-restricted human tyrosinase peptide (h-Tyr)-reactive TCR and develop spontaneous vitiligo from an early age, we addressed the mechanism regulating autoimmune vitiligo. Depigmentation was significantly impaired only in IFN-?-knockout h3TA2 mice but not in TNF-?- or perforin-knockout h3TA2 mouse strains, confirming a central role for IFN-? in vitiligo development. In addition, regulatory T cells (Tregs) were relatively abundant in h3TA2-IFN-?(-/-) mice, and depletion of the Treg-engaging anti-CD25 antibody fully restored the depigmentation phenotype in h3TA2-IFN-?(-/-) mice, mediated in part through the upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-17 and IL-22. Further therapeutic potential of Treg abundance in preventing progressive depigmentation was evaluated by adoptively transferring purified Treg or using rapamycin. Both the adoptive transfer of Tregs and the use of rapamycin induced a lasting remission of vitiligo in mice treated at the onset of disease, or in mice with established disease. This leads us to conclude that reduced regulatory responses are pivotal to the development of vitiligo in disease-prone mice, and that a quantitative increase in the Treg population may be therapeutic for vitiligo patients with active disease.
Project description:Background/aim:Interferon-induced helicase (IFIH1) is a gene locus that has been recently defined as a candidate for susceptibility to generalized vitiligo (GV). The objectives of this study were to assess the association of IFIH1 gene, rs2111485, and rs1990760 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) with susceptibility to GV and the autoimmune diseases accompanying GV. Materials and methods:We prospectively studied GV patients and frequency-matched healthy controls by age and sex. The genotypes of the participants were determined for rs1990760 and rs2111485 SNPs of IFIH1. Dominant, recessive, and additive models were evaluated for each SNP adjusted for age and sex. Results:The patients and their controls were observed to be in the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium for SNP1 (2q24.2, rs1990760, IFIH1, T/C) and SNP2 (2q24.2, rs2111485, IFIH1, G/A), respectively (all P > 0.7). For SNP1, every T allel addition was significantly associated with 1.53 times protectiveness in terms of vitiligo risk (P = 0.033). As for SNP2, every G allel addition was associated with 1.42 times protectiveness, close to statistical significance (P = 0.100). Conclusions:We detected that for SNP1, each T allel and for SNP2, each G allel are protective in terms of vitiligo development. Hereby, we confirmed that IFIH1 gene locus has a role in GV susceptibility.