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February 1984

Suppressor Cell Number and Function in Alopecia Areata

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Hordinsky and Nelson), Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (Ms Hallgren), and Pediatrics (Division of Immunology) (Dr Filipovich), University of Minnesota Hospitals, Minneapolis. Dr Nelson is now with the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(2):188-194. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650380048009

• Several values of immunologic function were studied and correlated with disease activity and extent in 14 patients with alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, or alopecia universalis and in a concurrently studied age- and sex-matched control group. As compared with the control group, the patients showed a significantly increased incidence of autoantibody formation, increased concanavalin A-induced suppression of the normal lymphocyte response to mitogens, an increased proportion of suppressor-cytotoxic cells in the peripheral blood, and a decrease in the absolute B-cell count. Absolute total T-cell counts, quantitative serum immunoglobulin determinations, and lymphocyte proliferation after exposure to the mitogens—concanavalin A, phytohemagglutinin, and pokeweed—and to tetanus antigen were comparable for both groups. Neither the percentage of concanavalin A-induced suppression of the normal lymphocyte response to mitogens nor the helper-suppressor ratio correlated significantly with the extent of hair loss. However, patients, particularly those who demonstrated spontaneous regrowth of hair, had increased concanavalin A-induced suppression in conjunction with an increase in the proportion of peripheral suppressor cells.

(Arch Dermatol 1984;120:188-194)

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