Background Although chemokines play an important role in various inflammatory diseases, there have been few studies about the role of chemokines in alopecia areata (AA).
Objectives To determine serum levels of chemokines in patients with AA and their clinical correlations.
Methods Serum samples from 85 patients with AA, 20 patients with atopic dermatitis, 20 patients with psoriasis vulgaris and 28 normal controls were examined by the cytometric bead array assay assessing monokine induced by interferon (IFN)-γ (MIG), RANTES, interleukin-8 (IL-8), IFN-inducible protein-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1β and eotaxin levels. Secreted chemokine levels from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with AA were also investigated.
Results Serum MIG, RANTES, IL-8 and eotaxin levels were selectively increased in patients with AA compared with normal controls. Levels of MIG, RANTES and IL-8 secreted from PBMC of patients with AA were also increased. Furthermore, elevated serum MIG and RANTES levels significantly correlated with the disease activity. RANTES levels were nonsignificantly associated with a predisposition to atopy.
Conclusions These results suggest that MIG and RANTES play an important role in the development of AA and are useful as markers of disease activity and as therapeutic targets.