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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 78  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19--23

Melanocytorrhagy and apoptosis in vitiligo: Connecting jigsaw pieces

Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Davinder Parsad
Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.90942

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Vitiligo is an acquired depigmenting disorder characterized by a chronic and progressive loss of melanocytes from the epidermis and follicular reservoir. The mechanism of melanocyte disappearance has never been clearly understood. This review discussed the data supporting the theory of melanocytorrhagy and apoptosis as one of the primary defects underlying melanocyte loss. Theory of melanocytorrhagy proposes that non-segmental vitiligo is a primary melanocytorrhagic disorder with altered melanocyte responses to friction and possibly other types of stress, inducing their detachment and subsequent transepidermal loss. Melanocytes detachment induces apoptosis whereas adherence to basement membrane suppresses apoptosis. The study of apoptosis, mechanisms of its induction, and the ways to block apoptosis is one possible way to find both the causes of depigmentation and medications to prevent its progression.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow