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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-59

Evaluation of serum interleukin-33 in nonsegmental vitiligo

1 Department of Dermatology and Andrology, Benha Faculty of medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Benha Faculty of medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt
3 Department of Dermatology & Andrology, Basrah Faculty of Medicine, Basrah University, Basrah, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Alaa S Khudhair
Basrah Faculty of Medicine, Basrah University, Basrah, 13511
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bmfj.bmfj_59_17

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Background Vitiligo is a common, acquired pigmentary disorder of unknown etiology, affecting up to 0.1–2% of the population worldwide. It is characterized by white macules and patches. Loss of melanocytes in vitiligo appears to occur through a combination of several mechanisms that act in concert. Interleukin (IL)-33 is a recently discovered cytokine and one of the newest members that belongs to the IL-1 superfamily of inflammatory cytokines, and is mainly expressed by different types of structural cells. IL-33 is considered an alarmin because of its release after necrosis or tissue damage. Objective The aims of the present study were to evaluate serum levels of IL-33 in nonsegmental vitiligo patients and to examine its relationship with disease severity and vitiligo type. Patients and methods This was a case–control study that included 40 vitiligo patients (group A) and 40 apparently healthy individuals as controls (group B), who were matched for age and sex, at the Dermatology and Andrology Clinic, Benha University Hospital. All participants were subjected to the following: detailed history taking, assessment of the rule of nine score and the Vitiligo Disease Activity score measuring the activity of vitiligo, tests to determine the distribution and morphology of the lesions, complete dermatological examination, and laboratory investigations including assessment of IL-33 using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. Results The majority of our sample included females. Serum IL-33 levels were significantly higher in patients affected by vitiligo as compared with controls. There was no statistically significant difference in serum levels of IL-33 among different types of vitiligo. There was no significant correlation between serum IL-33 levels and severity of vitiligo. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between serum levels of IL-33 and duration of vitiligo, and a statistically significant difference was found in serum levels of IL-33 between stable (negative) type and progressive vitiligo. Conclusion Serum IL-33 levels in patients with vitiligo were significantly increased compared with controls. There was a positive correlation between serum IL-33 levels and disease activity, but there was no correlation with the clinical type of vitiligo. This explains a possible systemic role of IL-33 in the pathogenesis of vitiligo, and IL-33 serves as an alarmin in inducing melanocyte death in vitiligo skin. Inhibiting IL-33 activity might be a novel therapeutic strategy in the treatment of autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as vitiligo.

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