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Keywords:

  • FoxP3;
  • NB-UVB;
  • Tregs;
  • vitiligo

Summary

Background

It is widely believed that an imbalance between activated CD8+T cells and regulatory T cells (Tregs) exists in patients with vitiligo. Although there is evidence that narrow band ultraviolet (NB-UVB) irradiation can induce Tregs' number and activity, but up to our knowledge, none of the published studies involved the possible effect of NB-UVB on Tregs in vitiligo.

Objective

To evaluate the effect of NB-UVB on circulating CD4+CD25highFoxP3+regulatory T cells (FoxP3+Tregs) in vitiligo.

Methods

This prospective analytic study included 20 patients with active non-segmental vitiligo and 20 healthy controls. The patients were exposed to NB-UVB therapy three times per week for 30 sessions. Blood sampling before and after NB-UVB phototherapy was done to evaluate circulating CD4+CD25highTregs and Foxp3+Tregs.

Results

The CD4+CD25highTregs% and FoxP3+Tregs% were significantly higher in vitiligo patients compared with controls. NB-UVB therapy decreased both of them in patients, but they did not reach those of controls. Each of circulating CD4+CD25highTregs% and FoxP3+Tregs% didn't correlate with either extent or activity of vitiligo before or after NB-UVB.

Conclusion

Tregs functional defect is probably having an impact on NSV. NB-UVB may improve the function of Tregs. Understanding the mechanisms through which NB-UVB exert its effect on reducing the number of circulating Tregs would help open up the paths for future therapeutic options.