The role of lymphocytes in the development and treatment of alopecia areata.Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2015; 11(12):1335-51.ER
Alopecia areata (AA) development is associated with both innate and adaptive immune cell activation, migration to peri- and intra-follicular regions, and hair follicle disruption. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocytes are abundant in AA lesions; however, CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes are more likely to enter inside hair follicles, circumstantially suggesting that they have a significant role to play in AA development. Several rodent models recapitulate important features of the human autoimmune disease and demonstrate that CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes are fundamentally required for AA induction and perpetuation. However, the initiating events, the self-antigens involved, and the molecular signaling pathways, all need further exploration. Studying CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes and their fate decisions in AA development may reveal new and improved treatment approaches.