February 22, 2020         
RRD’s Customizable Kits Streamline the Path to a Better Brand Experience   •   2nd STREET USA, Inc. to Open First East Coast Store on February 22, 2020, in Manhattan’s NoHo Neighborhood   •   CEMEX Announces Ambitious Strategy to Address Climate Change   •   SmartBear and Drift Present Candid Panel Discussion to Spotlight Racial Challenges in Tech   •   ADDING MULTIMEDIA Clean Beauty Meets K-Beauty: Feminine Care Brand Rael Expands Into Wellness Skincare Products   •   Blake Shelton Joins the Lineup for the 2020 ‘iHeartCountry Festival Presented by Capital One’   •   Coronavirus: International Concern Growing Over Healthcare Workers' Wellbeing   •   Tutors International Reports Record Requests for Private Tuition in Central and South America   •   Tropical Smoothie Cafe Provides a Winter Wonderland for Families at Camp Sunshine   •   The Gables at Monroe in Monroe Township is now in closeout   •   Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Urban Child Institute Introduce Babies to Books through Pilot Program at Methodist South Hospit   •   Jamul Indian Village Tribal Leaders to Speak at TGPN's 2020 Women in Tribal Gaming Symposium   •   Victims Of Chipotle's Alleged Child Labor Violations To Hold News Conference In New Jersey   •   Survival Guide for Allergy Season: Latest Tips According to Shirin Peters, M.D. With Bethany Medical Clinic   •   HITN’s Inaugural ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival Announces Call for Entries   •   L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment Snags Prestigious "Toy of the Year" Award for Third Straight Year   •   BodyLogicMD Announces $5,000 Scholastic Scholarship for Medical Students Interested in Pursuing a Career Focused in Achieving Be   •   The Stellar Gospel Music Awards Announces Talent Lineup For 35th Anniversary Show   •   Yellowstone Co-Creator Taylor Sheridan Signs Overall Production and Development Deal with ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Br   •   CAIR-Philadelphia, Coalition Partners Protest U.S. Army War College Hosting Anti-Muslim Speaker
Bookmark and Share

Scientists Unravel Causes Of Mysterious Skin Disease, Vitiligo

Scientists including researchers from the University of Florida have discovered additional evidence that generalized vitiligo — a disease that typically causes patches of white skin on the face, neck and extremities that pop star Michael Jackson may have experienced — is associated with slight variations in genes that play a role in the body’s natural defenses.

Writing in today’s (Sunday, June 6) Nature Genetics, scientists describe how they found variations in 10 genes associated with the body’s immune response in people with vitiligo. Normally an immune response is a good thing, but with vitiligo, cells that guard the body apparently become too aggressive, killing pigment-producing cells called melanocytes that give color to skin.

The findings point toward the idea that there are multiple cellular pathways that may contribute to the onset and progression of vitiligo, which makes fully understanding the disease complicated, but it also gives scientists a variety of starting points to begin developing therapies.

“Generalized vitiligo is a complex disorder that involves not just genetics, not just the environment, but a combination of factors,” said Margaret “Peggy” Wallace, a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology and a member of the UF Genetics Institute and the Center for Epigenetics. “A number of different targets for therapies probably exist. As we do more research on the pathways underlying vitiligo, we can begin figuring out ways to interrupt them. This could present an opportunity to practice personalized medicine, in which therapies are tailored to people with different genetic susceptibilities.”

Vitiligo affects between 1 million and 2 million people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. It has been widely reported that the late pop star Jackson coped with the disease during his career. In addition to producing blotches of white skin, vitiligo can cause patches of hair to turn white or drain the color from the mucous membranes of the mouth. Some vitiligo patients are more likely to have other autoimmune diseases.

“Vitiligo may not get the attention it should because it is not life-threatening, but that’s not much consolation for people who have the disorder,” said Wayne McCormack, an associate professor of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine and associate dean for graduate education with the College of Medicine. “It has a huge psychological effect on people. We live in a society that places value on personal appearance, and anyone who looks different, children in particular, can be made to feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable.”

Researchers, led by Dr. Richard Spritz, director of the Human Medical Genetics Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, identified genes that increase the risk for vitiligo by studying the complete sets of DNA, known as genomes, of more than 1,500 people who have the disease compared with the genomes of similar people without the disease.

The latest findings point in part to the Fox family of genes, which are known to regulate gene expression and function in T cells and other molecular infection fighters in the body. In May, the research team published findings in The New England Journal of Medicine implicating several other genes involved in other autoimmune diseases in which immune cells mistake normal parts of the body for invaders, as well as a gene that may uniquely target the mistaken immune response to melanocytes in the skin.

The work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health with encouragement from Vitiligo Support International, the Vitiligo Society, the National Vitiligo Foundation, the American Vitiligo Research Foundation and Associazione Ricerca Informazione per la Vitiligine. Vitiligo research at UF is supported by grants from the American Vitiligo Research Foundation.

Source: University of Florida Health Science Center



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
Breaking News
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News