Alterations of mitochondria in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of vitiligo patients

Maria Lucia Dell'Anna, Sandra Urbanelli, Arianna Mastrofrancesco, Emanuela Camera, Paolo Iacovelli, Giovanni Leone, Paola Manini, Marco D'Ischia, Mauro Picardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The possible role for a defective mitochondrial functionality in the pathogenesis of vitiligo was investigated by measuring intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species and of antioxidants, the activity of Krebs cycle enzymes, as well as the effects of inhibitors of the electron transport chain, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with active or stable disease vs. normal subjects. Plasma glyoxal levels were also determined in the same groups of subjects as an index of systemic oxidative stress. In patients with vitiligo in active phase, we observed an increased intracellular production of reactive oxygen species with a consequent imbalance of the prooxidant/antioxidant equilibrium, whereas plasma did not show apparent alterations in glyoxal levels, ruling out a systemic oxidative stress. In patients with stable disease, the balance between pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants seems to be maintained. Moreover, a marked increase in the expression of mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase activity and a specific sensitivity to electron transport chain complex I inhibitor were observed. Overall, these data provide further evidence for an altered mitochondrial functionality in vitiligo patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalPigment Cell Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Catalase
  • Complex I
  • Glutathione
  • Malate dehydrogenase
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Vitiligo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology


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