Vitiligo pp 269-282 | Cite as

Cytokines and Growth Factors

  • Genji Imokawa
  • Silvia MorettiEmail author
  • G Imokawa
  • S Moretti
  • M Picardo
  • A Taïeb
  • Moretti Silvia
  • G Imokawa

Core Messages

  • An imbalance of keratinocyte-derived cytok-ines and dysregulations of cytokine/receptor interactions both capable of affecting melano-cyte activity and survival has been demonstrated in vitiligo epidermis.

  • Melanogenic growth factors such as stem-cell factor (SCF) and endothelin (ET)-1, as well as inflammatory cytokines with anti-melanogenic properties, such as IL-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, are implicated.

  • The over-expression of TNF-α may facilitate the apoptosis of keratinocytes, leading to a decrease in the production of ET-1 and SCF, thus enhancing melanocyte disappearance.

  • At the junction of lesional vitiligo epidermis, melanocytes remain and express tyrosinase, S100α and ET-B receptor (ETBR), but not c-kit or MITF-M.

  • At the center of lesional vitiligo epidermis, there is a complete loss of melanocytes expressing c-kit, S100α, ETBR, and/or tyrosinase.

  • This deterioration in the expression of c-kit by melanocytes and its downstream effectors, including MITF-M, may be associated with the dysfunction and/or loss of melanocytes in vitiligo epidermis.

  • The cytokine imbalance in vitiligo epidermis may be also related to an impaired keratinocyte senescence process.


Hepatocyte Growth Factor Stem Cell Factor Human Melanocyte Vitiligo Patient Stem Cell Factor Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Genji Imokawa
    • 1
  • Silvia Moretti
    • 2
    Email author
  • G Imokawa
  • S Moretti
  • M Picardo
  • A Taïeb
  • Moretti Silvia
  • G Imokawa
  1. 1.School of Bioscience and BiotechnologyTokyo University of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Dermatological SciencesUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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