Alopecia Areata Is Driven by Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes and Is Reversed by JAK Inhibition

    August 2014 in “ Nature medicine
    Luzhou Xing, Zhijun Dai, Ali Jabbari, Jane Cerise, Claire A. Higgins, Wei Gong, Annemieke de Jong, Sivan Harel, Gina M. DeStefano, Lisa Rothman, Pallavi Singh, Lynn Petukhova, Julian Mackay‐Wiggan, Angela M. Christiano, Raphael Clynes
    TLDR Alopecia areata can be reversed by JAK inhibitors, promoting hair regrowth.
    The study demonstrated that cytotoxic CD8+NKG2D+ T cells were essential for the development of alopecia areata (AA) in mice, and that JAK inhibition could reverse the disease. Genome-wide association studies implicated NKG2D receptor ligands in AA pathogenesis. Blocking IFN-γ, IL-2, or IL-15Rβ prevented AA by reducing CD8+NKG2D+ T cells and the dermal IFN response in mice. Systemic JAK inhibitors eliminated the IFN signature and prevented AA, while topical JAK inhibitors promoted hair regrowth. Three patients treated with oral ruxolitinib, a JAK1/2 inhibitor, experienced near-complete hair regrowth within 5 months, indicating the potential of JAK inhibition as a treatment for human AA.
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