Suppressor Cell Number and Function in Alopecia Areata

Maria K Hordinsky, Helen Hallgren, Douglas Nelson, Alexandra Hult Filipovich

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38 Scopus citations


Several values of immunologic function were studied and correlated with disease activity and extent in 14 patients with alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, or alopecia universalis and in a concurrently studied age- and sex-matched control group. As compared with the control group, the patients showed a significantly increased incidence of autoantibody formation, increased concanavalin A-induced suppression of the normal lymphocyte response to mitogens, an increased proportion of suppressor-cytotoxic cells in the peripheral blood, and a decrease in the absolute B-cell count. Absolute total T-cell counts, quantitative serum immunoglobulin determinations, and lymphocyte proliferation after exposure to the mitogens—concanavalin A, phytohemagglutinin, and pokeweed—and to tetanus antigen were comparable for both groups. Neither the percentage of concanavalin A-induced suppression of the normal lymphocyte response to mitogens nor the helper-suppressor ratio correlated significantly with the extent of hair loss. However, patients, particularly those who demonstrated spontaneous regrowth of hair, had increased concanavalin A-induced suppression in conjunction with an increase in the proportion of peripheral suppressor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1984


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