areata is a common autoimmune genetically predisposed
hair follicles disorder affecting different body surface areas. Exposure
to bacterial or parasital antigen may be a triggering factor.
Much evidence suggests that alopecia areata is a tissue restricted
autoimmune disease. Alopecia areata responds to immunosuppressive
agents, and is associated with other tissue restricted autoimmune
diseases, including autoimmune thyroiditis and vitiligo. Anti-hair
follicle antibodies are modulated during the disease process, can occur
before clinically detectable hair loss, and may be reduced in titer
during successful treatment. Recent data suggest that
neurotrophins and their receptors are differentially expressed among the
subsets of immune cells in alopecia areata-affected skin.
1.Gilhar A, Shalaginov R, Assy B, Serafimovich S, Kalish RS. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 1999 Dec;4(3):207-10
2.Tobin DJ. Characterization of hair follicle antigens targeted by
the anti-hair follicle immune response. J
Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2003 Oct;8(2):176-81.