American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 343–350

The Role of Tumor Necrosis Factor-α in the Pathogenesis of Vitiligo

  • Carlos R. Camara-Lemarroy
  • Julio C. Salas-Alanis
Leading Article

DOI: 10.1007/s40257-013-0039-3

Cite this article as:
Camara-Lemarroy, C.R. & Salas-Alanis, J.C. Am J Clin Dermatol (2013) 14: 343. doi:10.1007/s40257-013-0039-3


Vitiligo is an acquired immune disorder of the skin characterized by the presence of white depigmented macules. Its immunopathogenesis is not completely understood, but inflammatory alterations in the skin microenvironment, and particularly increased expression of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), are thought to be essential regulators of melanocyte dysfunction and death. In this article we review the evidence that implicates TNFα in the pathogenesis of vitiligo, including studies on serum and tissue levels of TNFα, TNFα gene polymorphisms, in vitro studies, and therapeutic trials using TNFα inhibitors. TNFα emerges as a complex mediator with apparently conflicting roles in vitiligo.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos R. Camara-Lemarroy
    • 1
  • Julio C. Salas-Alanis
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Medicina InternaHospital Universitario “Dr. José E. González”, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo LeónMonterreyMexico
  2. 2.Dermatology DepartmentYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Servicio de DermatologiaHospital Universitario “Dr. José Eleuterio González”, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo LeónMonterreyMexico
  4. 4.Basic Science DepartmentUniversidad de MonterreyMonterreyMexico