2003, Number 5
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ABSTRACTAs we recently reported, the cutaneous lymphocyte associated antigen (CLA) is highly expressed in the patches of alopecia areata (AA) of the scalp (1). The aim of our study is to determinate the CLA expression in the cellular components of the infiltrate at different levels: intradermic, intrafollicular, perifollicular and perivascular; as well as to determine the E-Selectin expression in the dermal vascular endothelium.
Material and Methods. Twelve biopsies of the scalp corresponding to 12 patients affected of AA as well as 8 biopsies of the occipital region of healthy controls were performed. a) CLA expression: A double directe immunofluorescence technique (were performed in all samples, with the primary mononuclear antibodies: anti-CD1a, anti-CD4, anti-CD8, anti-CD68 and HECA-452, and two fluorescent secondary antibodies versus IgG and IgM, following the double staining technique with FITC and Rodamine. b) E-Selectin expression: In all samples a Ulex staining technique followed by the E-Selectin expression with the Envision technique of Dako were performed.
Results. CLA expression were differently manifested by the cellular components. HECA-452 were positive in 58% of the cells of the AA biopsies, while healthy scalp biopsies expressed HECA-452 only in 10% of cells. In AA the highest expression of CLA were manifested by T lymphocytes, similar within CD4+ (71%) and CD8 (70%) cells. The perifollicular area manifested the highest expression of CLA (61% of cells). Concerning to the E-Selectin, 7 out of the 12 samples of AA showed within 79-97% of cellular expression of that component, while in healthy scalp samples it was manifested within 29-55%.
Conclusions. Perifollicular T lymphocytes mainly shows CLA expression and probably follicular target structures in AA are located in the most external components of the hair follicle. May be the different expression of CLA by CD4+ and CD8+ cells, in the different areas, gives the key to the specific infiltrate as well as the pathogenesis of this disorder. E-Selectin-CLA interaction may play a primordial role in the migratory process in that and others inflammatory dermatosis.
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