The convergence theory for vitiligo: A reappraisal

Roopal Vashi Kundu, Julia M. Mhlaba, Stephanie M Rangel, Isabelle Caroline Le Poole*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vitiligo is characterized by progressive loss of skin pigmentation. The search for aetiologic factors has led to the biochemical, the neurologic and the autoimmune theory. The convergence theory was then proposed several years ago to incorporate existing theories of vitiligo development into a single overview of vitiligo aetiology. The viewpoint that vitiligo is not caused only by predisposing mutations, or only by melanocytes responding to chemical/radiation exposure, or only by hyperreactive T cells, but rather results from a combination of aetiologic factors that impact melanocyte viability, has certainly stood the test of time. New findings have since informed the description of progressive depigmentation. Understanding the relative importance of such aetiologic factors combined with a careful selection of the most targetable pathways will continue to drive the next phase in vitiligo research: the development of effective therapeutics. In that arena, it is likewise important to acknowledge that pathways affected in some patients may not be altered in others. Taken together, the convergence theory continues to provide a comprehensive viewpoint of vitiligo aetiology. The theory serves to intertwine aetiologic pathways and will help to define pathways amenable to disease intervention in individual patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

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Keywords

  • autoimmune
  • depigmentation
  • melanocyte
  • vitiligo aetiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology

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