Vitiligo is a T cell-mediated inflammatory skin disorder characterized by the loss of epidermal melanocytes. However, the contribution of melanocytes to the physiopathology of the disease in response to the T-cell microenvironment remains unclear. Here, using NanoString technology and multiplex ELISA, we show that active vitiligo perilesional skin is characterized by prominent type 1 and 2 associated immune responses. The vitiligo skin T-cell secretome downregulated melanocyte function and adhesion while increasing melanocyte mitochondrial metabolism and expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines by epidermal cells. The Jak1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib strongly inhibited such effects on epidermal cells. Our data highlight that vitiligo is more complex than previously thought, with prominent combined activities of both T helper type 1- and T helper type 2-related cytokines inducing inflammatory responses of epidermal cells. Melanocytes do not appear only to be a target of T cells in vitiligo but could actively contribute to perpetuate inflammation. Jak inhibitors could prevent the impact of T cells on epidermal cells and pigmentation, highlighting their potential clinical benefit in vitiligo.
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