Researchers Identify Vitiligo Cause and Compound for Hair/Skin Repigmentation

May 8, 2013 | Contact Author | By: Katie Anderson
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Title: Researchers Identify Vitiligo Cause and Compound for Hair/Skin Repigmentation
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Researchers from the University of Bradford and E.M. Arndt University of Griefswald have hypothesized the cause of vitiligo by repigmenting hair/skin with a compound activated by UVB oxidation. Although this treatment was developed as an answer for those suffering with vitiligo, it may also serve as an intervention for aging hair.

In a Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) article, the researchers identify NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase (PC-KUS) as the compound that may restore pigment in skin and hair.

Although the cause of vitiligo has not been identified, numerous studies have associated it with oxidative stress, based on the hydrogen peroxide and peroxynitrite found in affected individuals. Therefore, the researchers asked whether  ROS and possibly peroxynitrite could be players in the pathogenesis of strictly segmented vitiligo (SSV). Their in situ results demonstrated epidermal biopterin accumulation together with significantly decreased epidermal catalase, thioredoxin/thioreoxin reductase and MSRA/MSRB expression. Moreover, they showed epidermal peroxynitrite accumulation. In vivo FT-Raman spectroscopy revealed the presence of hydrogen peroxide, methionine sulfoxide, and tryptophan metabolites; i.e., N-formylkynurenine and kynurenine, implying Fenton chemistry in the cascade (n=10).

It was concluded based on this study that  hydrogen peroxide/peroxynitrite mediated stress triggered the pathogenesis of SSV,  and it was hypothesized that repigmentation of skin and eyelashes in affected individuals could be achieved with reduction of epidermal hydrogen peroxide. Serving as a pseudocatalase, PC-KUS converts hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen, blocking it from accumulating and resulting in repigmentation.