Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition of the epidermis in which skin cells are destroyed by T cells, which results in the loss of melanin pigmentation and the appearance of spots of discolored skin.
About 1% of the world population is affected and, although there are treatments available at the moment, the recurrence rates, which go up to 40%, are very high. Recent research is very promising, as the findings show that medical science is one step closer to proposing a more reliable treatment.
TRMs, or resident memory T-cells, are thought to be responsible for the return of the depigmentation after the treatment is completed. Jillian Richmond and her colleagues analyzed TRMs from Vitiligo patients and observed they contained components of a receptor interleukin-15 that acts as a signaling molecule.
The same aspect was observed by researchers in mice as they were injected with an antibody treatment for 14 days. During the next two months, the pigmentation in mice was restored, showing that the new treatment has the potential to reverse Vitiligo.
This discovery could be the basis for new therapies with better, long-term results, but it is, of course, subject to further clinical trials in order to establish if this treatment would be an option for Vitiligo patients.