Epidermal Oxidative Stress in Vitiligo

Siro Passi, Mauro Grandinetti, Francesco Maggio, Andrea Stancato, Chiara De Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epidermal levels of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), vitamin E (Vit E), ubiquinol (CoQ10H2), and reduced glutathione (GSH), as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids of phospholipids (PL-PUFA), were evaluated in the affected epidermis of 15 patients with active vitiligo (AVP) and in the corresponding epidermis of 15 healthy phototype matched controls. The epidermal levels of CoQ10H2, Vit E, GSH, and CAT activity were significantly reduced in AVP and were associated with a marked increase of oxidized glutathione, whereas SODs and GSH-Px activities and ubiquinone concentration remained similar to control values. Antioxidant deficiency, in particular the decline of lipophilic antioxidants, i.e., CoQ10H2 and Vit E, accounts well for PL-PUFA reduction observed in vitiligo epidermis, mainly affecting C18:3 n-3, C20:3 n-6, C20:4 n-6, and C22:6 n-3 fatty acids and suggesting the occurrence of a lipoperoxidative process. In conclusion, both an imbalance of the intracellular redox status and a significant depletion of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants feature the epidermis of AVP, and represent a fingerprint of an abnormal oxidative stress leading to epidermal cell injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalPigment Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998


  • Antioxidants
  • Epidermis
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pigmentation disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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