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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2016 Feb 29

language: English

Immunohistochemical expression of Aquaporin-3 protein in vitiligo; a new potential guide for disease activity

Abeer HODEIB 1, Doaa HEGAB 1, Omnia RIZK 2, Shahdan MOHAMMED 1

1 Dermatology and Venereology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt; 2 Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt


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BACKGROUND: Vitiligo is a depigmenting skin disorder, with disappearance of functioning epidermal melanocytes. Aquaporin-3 (AQP-3) is an aquaglyceroporin expressed in epidermal keratinocytes, where it shares in regulating their proliferation and differentiation, and so it might affect melanocytes indirectly. So far, little is known regarding its possible role in vitiligo.
AIM: This work aimed to study the changes in immunohistochemical expression of AQP-3 protein in vitiligo to detect its possible role in disease pathogenesis.
METHODS: Skin biopsies were taken from lesional skin of 30 vitiligo patients in addition to 20 normal controls. Epidermal immunohistochemical expression of AQP-3 was assessed as: +3 = strong expression, +2 = moderate, +1= weak and 0= negative expression.
RESULTS: AQP-3 was significantly less expressed in vitiligo epidermis than control (P <0.001) with an inverse correlation with Vitiligo Index of Disease Activity (r = -0.505, P = 0.004).
CONCLUSION: Reduced epidermal AQP-3 may have a role in impaired melanocyte survival in vitiligo, and might be a potential negative biological marker for vitiligo activity. Larger trials should further elucidate the effect of changes in epidermal AQP-3 expression in development of vitiligo, and that might pave the road for discovering new therapeutic modalities for the disease.

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