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As you are sure to already know, vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, not just a skin condition. The disease is complex in nature with three disease stages: initiation, progression and maintenance. These disease stages are driven by three specific pathophysiological mechanisms: innate immune response activation, T-cell driven inflammatory response & melanocyte destruction, and autoimmune destruction of melanocytes.1-7

Immunopathology graphical animation

Immunopathology graphical animation Immunopathology graphical animation


  1. Strassner JP, Harris JE. Understanding Mechanisms of Autoimmunity Through Translational Research in Vitiligo. Curr Opin Immunol. 2016;43:81-88.
  2. Richmond JM, Frisoli ML, et al. Innate Immune Mechanisms in Vitiligo: Danger From Within. Curr Opin Immunol. 2013;25(6):676-682.
  3. Frisoli ML, Essien K, et al. Vitiligo: Mechanisms of Pathogenesis and Treatment. Annu Rev Immunol. 2020;38:621-648.
  4. Howell MD, Kuo FI, et al. Targeting the Janus Kinase Family in Autoimmune Skin Diseases. Front Immunol. 2019;10:2342.
  5. Rashighi M, Harris JE. Vitiligo Pathogenesis and Emerging Treatments. Dermatol Clin. 2017;35(2):257-265.
  6. Rosmarin D, Pandya AG, et al. Ruxolitinib Cream for Treatment of Vitiligo: A Randomised, Controlled, Phase 2 Trial. Lancet. 2020;396(10244):110-120.
  7. Chen X, Guo W, et al. Oxidative Stress-Induced IL-15 Trans-Presentation in Keratinocytes Contributes to CD8+ T Cells Activation Via JAK-STAT Pathway in Vitiligo. Free Radic Biol Med. 2019;139:80-91.
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