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March 1979

Vitiligo and Autoimmune Polyendocrine Deficiencies With Autoantibodies to Melanin-Producing Cells

Author Affiliations

From the Institute of Semeiotica Medica (Drs Betterle and Bersani) and the Department of Dermatology (Dr Peserico), University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(3):364. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010030066028

Most studies have failed to identify a specific antimelanocyte antibody in the serum of patients with vitiligo.1-3 Only recently, Hertz et al4 described two patients with vitiligo and polyendocrine deficiencies who had evidence for an autoantibody that binds to melanin-producing cells (MPC) in human skin, nevi, and melanomas. They stated that other investigators1,2 probably failed to identify this antibody because patients who were known antibody-formers were not selected, and only a conventional indirect immunofluorescence technique (IIT) was used.

We have retested the serum of two patients with vitiligo and "autoimmune polyendocrine diseases" who had been described previously.2

Patients and Methods  Patient 1 is a 25-year-old woman with vitiligo, chronic idiopathic hypoparathyroidism, Addison's disease, chronic candidiasis, and atrophic gastritis with thyroid microsomal, gastric parietal cells, adrenal cortex, pancreatic islet cell, and prolactinsecreting cell autoantibodies.Patient 2 is a 57-year-old man with vitiligo, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, atrophic gastritis, and