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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 518090, 7 pages
Review Article

Nonsegmental Vitiligo and Autoimmune Mechanism

1Department of Dermatology, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, 377-2 Ohno-Higashi, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka 589-8511, Japan
2Department of Dermatology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan
3Department of Dermatology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka 545-8585, Japan
4Department of Dermatology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

Received 31 March 2011; Revised 30 May 2011; Accepted 1 June 2011

Academic Editor: Davinder Parsad

Copyright © 2011 Naoki Oiso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonsegmental vitiligo is a depigmented skin disorder showing acquired, progressive, and depigmented lesions of the skin, mucosa, and hair. It is believed to be caused mainly by the autoimmune loss of melanocytes from the involved areas. It is frequently associated with other autoimmune diseases, particularly autoimmune thyroid diseases including Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, pernicious anemia, systemic lupus erythematosus, Addison's disease, and alopecia areata. This indicates the presence of genetically determined susceptibility to not only vitiligo but also to other autoimmune disorders. Here, we summarize current understanding of autoimmune pathogenesis in non-segmental vitiligo.