Alopecia areata (AA) is a common dermatological problem that manifests as sudden loss of hair without any inflammation or scarring. Various cytokines are implicated in the pathogenesis of this disease. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is located at an upstream position in the events leading to the possible dysregulated immuno-inflammatory responses, and the high level of this cytokine in AA may suggest a role of MIF in the pathogenesis of AA.Methods:
This case–control study was carried out on 31 AA patients with different grades of severity and 15 apparently healthy subjects. Serum MIF level was measured by ELISA, and was correlated with the clinical severity of the disease using SALT (severity of alopecia tool) scoring system.Results:
In this study, there was a significant elevation in serum MIF levels in AA patients in comparison with controls. There was also a positive correlation between MIF levels and clinical severity and disease duration.Conclusion:
MIF seems to have an essential role in the etiopathogenesis of AA. So, it is considered to be a promising target in the therapy of autoimmune diseases and as a future predictor of alopecia activity. Anti-MIF therapy might be added as one of the new biological treatments for AA.