Indexed on: 20 Dec '14Published on: 20 Dec '14Published in: Clinical and Experimental Dermatology
Alopecia areata (AA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes hair loss on the scalp or trunk without scarring. Although the precise aetiopathogenesis of alopecia areata remains unknown, oxidative stress is thought to play a role.To investigate the relationship between severity and the role of oxidative stress in AA, by measuring plasma oxidant levels and antioxidant enzyme activities in erythrocytes.In total, 62 patients with AA (24 males and 38 females), and 62 sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled in the study. We investigated the levels of plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and the activities of erythrocyte catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). The relationship between oxidative stress and AA was also investigated with regard to disease pattern, severity, duration and recurrence.The mean erythrocyte GSH-Px and SOD activities were significantly reduced (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001 respectively) compared with the control group. Plasma MDA levels were increased but statistically insignificant (P = 0.08) in patients with AA compared with controls. No significant difference between erythrocyte CAT activities was observed between patients and controls (P = 0.2). In addition, we observed no statistically significant difference in patient plasma MDA levels or erythrocyte CAT, GSH-Px or SOD activities with regard to AA severity, duration, recurrence or pattern (P > 0.05).Patients with AA displayed reduced erythrocyte SOD and GSH-Px activities and enhanced plasma MDA levels. These findings support the possible role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of AA.