Expert: MITF as indicator of success from vitiligo therapy

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Experts and scientists of Universitas Airlangga continue to conduct various researches. Many of them produce various findings that can be used by the community. One expert who is actively conducting research is Dr. M. Yulianto Listiawan, SpKK (K), FINSDV, FAADV.,

In his research on vitiligo, he revealed that vitiligo is the most depigmentation disease occuring with skin manifestations. It was in the form of white patches, a disease with complex pathogenesis, and it is not yet fully understood.

“So the course of the disease cannot be predicted and the results of therapy are often unsatisfactory,” he said.

He explained that it reduces quality of life, causes anxiety, insecurity, and psychosocial stigma in vitiligo patients. Furthermore, according to him, vitiligo is a multifactorial, polygenic, genetical and non genetical interaction disease affecting the function and survival of melanocytes. The formation of melanocytes, he explained, is regulated by the MITF (microphthalmia-associated transcription factor), the main gene for melanocyte survival and the key regulatory factors of melanogenic protein transcription.

“MITF is a new melanocytic marker that makes it possible to know the number of melanocytes in the epidermis and to detect a decrease in melanocyte function,” he said.

Furthermore, he said that in the research, the number of MITF in vitiligo lesions was evaluated then it was compared from before and after NB-UVB therapy. That, he continued, was done, by proving the role of MITF, and there was an increase in the number of MITF in vitiligo after NB-UVB therapy.

“It means MITF can be an indicator of success from a vitiligo therapy,” he said.

In the end, he reiterated that the MITF amount in vitiligo after NB-UVB therapy compared to before NB-UVB therapy increased significantly. It showed that MITF has a role as an indicator of success from a vitiligo therapy.

Author: Nuri Hermawan

Editor : Khefti Al Mawalia


M. Yulianto Listiawan, Linda Astari, Putri Hendria Wardhani (2019). Comparison amount of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor in vitiligo before and after narrowband ultraviolet B therapy. Dermatology Reports, 11(s1): 8030.

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