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September 1957

Alkaline Phosphatase in Alopecia Areata

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the New York University Post-Graduate Medical School (Dr. Marion B. Sulzberger, Chairman) and the Skin and Cancer Unit of the New York University Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;76(3):288-295. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550210012003

Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme which acts as an organic catalyst in a wide variety of biochemical dephosphorylation and transphosphorylation processes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. This enzyme is concerned with transmembranous solute transfer, calcification and ossification, fibroplasia, histodifferentiation, inflammatory reaction, and glandular secretion. Yet the precise role which alkaline phosphatase plays in cutaneous metabolic processes remains obscure.

It has previously been reported that hair papillae in the early stages of alopecia areata have a decrease of histochemically demonstrable alkaline phosphatase activity.1 We have undertaken the present investigation to further study A. P.* activity during different stages of alopecia areata and alopecia totalis.

Materials and Methods

Ten scalp biopsies f were performed on patients with alopecia areata or totalis in various stages of hair loss and regrowth (Table). Three specimens were studied of previously alopecic areas into which intradermal and/or subcutaneous hydrocortisone injections had been