Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 274, Issue 1–2, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Suppressor cell decrease in alopecia areata

  • Glenn N. Ledesma
  • Kenneth K. York
Original Contributions


There is considerable evidence to suggest that autoimmunity plays a role in the pathogenesis of alopecia areata. Since it is known that T cells regulate the immune system, a study was undertaken to measure T helper (OKT-4) and T suppressor (OKT-8) cells in the peripheral blood of patients with alopecia areata (both active and stable) and in controls. Total T cells, B cells, immunoglobulins, and autoantibodies were also measured. There was a highly significant decrease in the T-suppressor cell population of patients with alopecia areata (P>0.001). Two of ten patients had microsomal antibodies and three of ten had elevated IgE levels. Other parameters were not significantly different. The decrease in suppressor cells suggests an impairment of the prime negative regulator of the immune system, with loss of tolerance and resultant autoimmunity.

Key words

Alopecia areata T suppressor Monoclonal antibodies Autoimmunity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn N. Ledesma
    • 1
  • Kenneth K. York
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of LaboratoriesThe Long Island College HospitalNew YorkUSA

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