To investigate serum cortisol level and glucocorticoid receptors (GR) mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in patients with severe alopecia areata and liver-kidney deficiency syndrome and their involvement in the pathogenesis of severe alopecia areata.
In 32 patients with severe alopecia areata, serum cortisol levels were measured by chemiluminescence assay and GR mRNA expression in the PBMCs was detected using reverse transcription real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR before and after treatment, with 20 normal subjects serving as the controls.
Serum cortisol level showed no significant difference between the cases and the normal controls (P>0.05). The expression of GR mRNA in the PBMCs was significantly lower in the patients than in the normal controls (P<0.05). The expression of GR mRNA was even lower after treatments in patients with alopecia areata (P<0.01).
GC-GR disorder exists in severe alopecia areata. A decreased GR mRNA expression in the PBMCs can be involved in the pathogenesis of severe alopecia areata, and such pathological changes at the receptor and genetic levels might also serve as the microscopic basis of liver-kidbey deficiency syndrome in severe alopecia areata.
Nan fang yi ke da xue xue bao = Journal of Southern Medical University 02/2012; 32(2):230-3.