Hypothesis: Possible role for the melatonin receptor in vitiligo: Discussion paper

A. Slominski, R. Paus, A. Bomirski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


A new unifying hypothesis for the aetiology of vitiligo is proposed, in which we postulate that the final destruction of melanocytes in vitiligo results from a cascade of reactions initiated by a disregulation of melanogenesis, caused by activation of the melatonin receptor. These events result in the high and uncontrolled production of free radicals and toxic products of melanogenesis which sequentially damage or destroy melanocytes and keratinocytes, provoke an autoimmune response against exposed intracellular or altered cell surface antigenes, and increase the propensity of melanocytes to undergo malignant transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-541
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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