CXCL9: A biomarker for Vitiligo activity
A recent study published in the ‘Nature’ scientific journal, proposed that the CXCL9 gene is a key biomarker for vitiligo activity and a significant predictor of the effectiveness of cultured melanocyte transplantation (CMT) for the treatment of vitiligo.
The aim of the study was to identify the potential biomarkers of vitiligo through evaluation of disease activity and the curative effect of transplanted melanocytes in vitiligo patients. Recent data shows that the development and progression of vitiligo is closely related to certain immune regulatory and inflammatory processes mediated by the specific gene CXCL9.
The study included a total of 36 patients with stable vitiligo, who had undergone treatment with CMT. Samples collected from stable vitiligo patients and active vitiligo patients were compared with samples from healthy controls.
These samples were measured for specific proteins secreted by immune system cells (called chemokines). Next, in order to evaluate the curative effects of CMT, samples were collected after 6 months of treatment.
The results showed that CXCL9 and CXCL10 levels increased in patients with stable vitiligo and patients with active vitiligo. The levels were significantly higher in the blister fluid samples of active vitiligo patients than stable vitiligo patients.
Thus, the study indicates that CXCL9 levels in the blister fluid have a positive correlation with vitiligo disease activity. Additionally, CXCL9 levels can be used to assess the curative effect of CMT in vitiligo patients.
Source: Lin F., Hu, W., Xu, W. et al. CXCL9 as a key biomarker of vitiligo activity and prediction of the success of cultured melanocyte transplantation. Sci Rep 11, 18298 (2021).