eISSN: 2299-0046
ISSN: 1642-395X
Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Abstracting and indexing Subscription Contact Instructions for authors
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
vol. 36
Original paper

Serum concentrations of selected proinflammatory cytokines in children with alopecia areata

Katarzyna Tabara, Magdalena Kozłowska, Anna Jędrowiak, Wojciech Bienias, Andrzej Kaszuba

Adv Dermatol Allergol 2019; XXXVI (1): 63-69
Online publish date: 2019/02/22
View full text
Get citation
JabRef, Mendeley
Papers, Reference Manager, RefWorks, Zotero
Alopecia areata (AA) is considered an autoimmune disorder characterized by patchy loss of hair from the scalp and other body parts. Many patients develop the disease in childhood. 

To answer the question whether abnormal production of some proinflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-6, IL-15, IL-17A and IFN-) in children with AA may facilitate the development or progression of the disease.

Material and methods
The study group consisted of 42 children with AA, the control group – 37 healthy children. Peripheral venous blood samples were collected from patients with AA and healthy controls and the concentrations of serum cytokines, namely IL-2, IL-6, IL-15, IL-17A, IFN- were determined quantitatively by ELISA method.

The serum IL-6, IL-15, IL-17A and IFN- levels were significantly increased in patients with AA compared with control subjects (p < 0.05). The serum IL-15 level was found to be increased when the total duration of AA was increased (q = 0.30; p = 0.05). The serum cytokine level of IL-17A was found to be decreased when duration of the current episode was longer than 2 years (p < 0.05), but the correlation between IL-17A serum level and duration of the current episode was not confirmed in the Spearman test (q = –0.06; p = 0.68). The serum IL-17A level was found to be significantly decreased when the thyroiditis was present (q = –2.378; p < 0.05).

The increased levels of serum IL-6, IL-15, IL-17A and IFN- in children suggest imbalance in the serum proinflammatory cytokines production in AA.


alopecia, alopecia areata, cytokines, interleukins, children

Garg S, Messenger AG. Alopecia areata: evidence-based treatments. Semin Cutan Med Surg 2009; 28: 15-8.
McDonagh AJG, Messenger AG. The pathogenesis of alopecia areata. Dermatol Clin 1996; 14: 661-70.
Petukhova L, Duvic M, Hordinsky M, et al. Genome-wide association study in alopecia areata implicates both innate and adaptive immunity. Nature 2010; 466: 113-7.
Ito T, Tokura Y. The role of cytokines and chemokines in the T-cell-mediated autoimmune process in alopecia areata. Exp Dermatol 2014; 23: 787-91.
Weedon D. Diseases of cutaneous appendages. In: Weedon’s Skin Pathology. Weedon D (ed.). Churchill Livingstone, London 2002; 397-440.
Paus R, Ito N, Takigawa M, et al. The hair follicle and immune privilege. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc 2003; 8: 188-94.
Kang H, Wu WY, Lo BK, et al. Hair follicles from alopecia areata patients exhibit alterations in immune privilege-associated gene expression in advance of hair loss. J Invest Dermatol 2010; 130: 2677-80.
Messenger AG, McKillop J, Farrant P, et al. British Association of Dermatologists’ guidelines for the management of alopecia areata 2012. Br J Dermatol 2012; 166: 916-26.
Gilhar A, Schrum AG, Etzioni A, et al. Alopecia areata: animal models illuminate autoimmune pathogenesis and novel immunotherapeutic strategies. Autoimmun Rev 2016; 15: 726-35.
McElwee KJ, Gilhar A, Tobin DJ, et al. What causes alopecia areata? Exp Dermatol 2013; 22: 609-26.
Ito T. Recent advances in the pathogenesis of autoimmune hair loss disease alopecia areata. Clin Dev Immunol 2013; 2013: 348546.
Brzezińska-Wcisło L, Bergler-Czop B, Wcisło-Dziadecka D, et al. New aspects of the treatment of alopecia areata. Postep Dermatol Alergol 2014; 31: 262-5.
Shohat M, Mimouni D, Ben-Amitai D. In vitro cytokine profile in childhood alopecia areata and the immunomodulatory effects of AS-101. Clin Exp Dermatol 2005; 30: 432-4.
Olsen EA. Investigative guidelines for alopecia areata. Dermatol Ther 2011; 24: 311-9.
Afzali B, Lombardi G, Lechler RI, et al. The role of T helper 17 (Th17) and regulatory T cells (Treg) in human organ transplantation and autoimmune disease. Clin Exp Immunol 2007; 148: 32-46.
Furuzawa-Carlalleda J, Vargas-Rojas MI, Cabral AR. Autoimmune inflammation from the Th17 perspective. Autoimmun Rev 2007; 6: 169-75.
Weaver CT, Harrington LE, Mangan PR, et al. Th17: an effector CD4 T cell lineage with regulatory T cell ties. Immunity 2006; 24: 677-88.
Kalish RS, Gilhar A. Alopecia areata: autoimmunity – the evidence is compelling. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc 2003; 8: 164-7.
Ito T, Meyer KC, Ito N, et al. Immune privilege and the skin. Curr Dir Autoimmun 2008; 10: 27-52.
King LE Jr, McElwee KJ, Sundberg JP. Alopecia areata. Curr Dir Autoimmun 2008; 10: 280-312.
Cantrell DA, Smith KA. The interleukin-2 T-cell system: a new cell growth model. Science 1984; 224: 1312-6.
Malek TR. The biology of interleukin-2. Annu Rev Immunol 2008; 26: 453-79.
Redler S, Albert F, Brockschmidt FF, et al. Investigation of selected cytokine genes suggests that IL2RA and the TNF/LTA locus are risk factors for severe alopecia areata. Br J Dermatol 2012; 167: 1360-5.
Gilhar A, Schrum AG, Etzioni A, et al. Alopecia areata: animal models illuminate autoimmune pathogenesis and novel immunotherapeutic strategies. Autoimmun Rev 2016; 15: 726-35.
Castela E, Le Duff F, Butori C, et al. Effects of low-dose recombinant interleukin 2 to promote T-regulatory cells in alopecia areata. JAMA Dermatol 2014; 150: 748-51.
Valsecchi R, Imberti G, Martino D, Cainelli T. Alopecia areata and interleukin-2 receptor. Dermatology 1992; 184: 126-8.
Barahmani N, Lopez A, Babu D, et al. Serum T helper 1 cytokine levels are greater in patients with alopecia areata regardless of severity or atopy. Clin Exp Dermatol 2010; 35: 409-16.
Teraki Y, Imanishi K, Shiohara T. Cytokines in alopecia areata: contrasting cytokine profiles in localized form and extensive form (alopecia universalis). Acta Derm Venereol 1996; 76: 421-3.
Tembhre MK, Sharma VK. T-helper and regulatory T-cell cytokines in the peripheral blood of patients with active alopecia areata. Br J Dermatol 2013; 169: 543-8.
Shohat M, Mimouni D, Ben-Amitai D, et al. In vitro cytokine profile in childhood alopecia areata and the immunomodulatory effects of AS-101. Clin Exp Dermatol 2005; 30: 432-4.
Waldmann TA, Lugli E, Roederer M, et al. Safety (toxicity), pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity and impact on elements of the normal immune system of recombinant human IL-15 in rhesus macaques. Blood 2011; 117: 4787-95.
Waldmann TA. The biology of IL-15: implications for cancer therapy and the treatment of autoimmune disorders. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc 2013; 16: 28-30.
Xing L, Dai Z, Jabbari A, et al. Alopecia areata is driven by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and is reversed by JAK inhibition. Nat Med 2014; 20: 1043-9.
Fuentes-Duculan J, Gulati N, Bonifacio KM, et al. Biomarkers of alopecia areata disease activity and response to corticosteroid treatment. Exp Dermatol 2016; 25: 282-6.
Sato-Kawamura M, Aiba S, Tagami H. Strong expression of CD40, CD54 and HLA-DR antigen and lack of evidence for direct cellular cytotoxicity are unique immunohistopathological features in alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol Res 2003; 12: 536-43.
Arca E, Musabak U, Akar A, et al. Interferon-gamma in alopecia areata. Eur J Dermatol 2004; 14: 33-6.
Katagiri K, Arakawa S, Hatano Y. In vivo levels of IL-4, IL-10, TGFbeta1 and IFN-gamma mRNA of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells in patients with alopecia areata in comparison to those in patients with atopic dermatitis. Arch Dermatol Res 2007; 298: 397-401.
Skurkovich S, Korotky NG, Sharova NM, et al. Treatment of alopecia areata with anti-interferon-gamma antibodies. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc 2005; 10: 283-4.
Korn T, Bettelli E, Oukka M, Kuchroo VK. IL-17 and Th17 cells. Annu Rev Immunol 2009; 27: 485-517.
Oukka M. Th17 cells in immunity and autoimmunity. Ann Rheum Dis 2008; 67 Suppl 3.: iii26-9.
Zhang L, Yuan S, Cheng G, Guo B. Type I IFN promotes IL-10 production from T cells to suppress Th17 cells and Th17-associated autoimmune inflammation. PLoS One 2011; 6: e28432.
Aytekin N, Akcali C, Pehlivan S. Investigation of interleukin-12, interleukin-17 and interleukin-23 receptor gene polymorphisms in alopecia areata. J Int Med Res 2015; 43: 526-34.
Atwa MA, Youssef N, Bayoumy NM, et al. T-helper 17 cytokines (interleukins 17, 21, 22, and 6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) in patients with alopecia areata: association with clinical type and severity. Int J Dermatol 2016; 55: 666-72.
El-Morsy EH, Eid AA, Ghoneim H, et al. Serum level of interleukin-17A in patients with alopecia areata and its relationship to age. Int J Dermatol 2016; 55: 869-74.
Bilgic O, Sivrikaya A, Unlu A, et al. Serum cytokine and chemokine profiles in patients with alopecia areata. J Dermatolog Treat 2016; 27: 260-3.
Welsch K, Holstein J, Laurence A, et al. Targeting JAK/STAT signalling in inflammatory skin diseases with small molecule inhibitors. Eur J Immunol 2017; 47: 1096-107.
Quick links
© 2019 Termedia Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.
Developed by Bentus.
PayU - płatności internetowe