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November 1981

Antibodies to MelanocytesOccurrence in Patients With Vitiligo and Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis

Author Affiliations

From the Immunofluorescence Laboratory, Department of Dermatology (Drs Howanitz and Bystryn), New York University School of Medicine, New York; and the Departments of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine (Dr Lerner) and the West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center (Dr Nordlund), New Haven, Conn.

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(11):705-708. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650110027013

• The prevalence of antibodies to melanocytes was determined by an immunofluorescence complement fixation technique in 294 patients with vitiligo, other pigmentary disorders, and unrelated dermatoses. Antimelanocyte antibodies were present in the sera of five (29%) of 17 patients with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis. Only two of the five patients with antibodies had vitiligo. No antibodies to melanocytes were found in the sera of 31 patients with common vitiligo or of 38 patients with vitiligo associated with autoimmune diseases or melanoma. Nor were antibodies to melanocytes found in 129 patients with other diseases of pigment-producing cells or in a control group of 79 patients with nonpigmentary dermatoses. These results suggest that complement fixing antibodies to melanocytes are associated with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis but are not involved in the pathogenesis of common vitiligo.

(Arch Dermatol 1981;117:705-708)