Background: Alopecia Areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease affecting hair follicles. Although many details are well specified in the pathogenesis of the disease, there exist certain aspects which require more investigations. Given the fact that the increase in Th-1 immunity is the essential part of the pathogenesis, the incrimination of osteopontin, as a Th-1 cytokine, is considered appropriate in the pathogenesis of the disease. The aim of the present research was to evaluate the role of osteopontin in alopecia areata and its correlation with disease pattern and severity.
Methods: This case-control study consisted of 45 patients with alopecia areata and 45 health individuals. The level of osteopontin was measured through blood sampling and ELISA method.
Results: The mean plasma level of osteopontin was significantly lower in patients with alopecia areata than controls (P<0.05)
Conclusions: The plasma level of osteopontin in patients with alopecia areata is lower than healthy controls. Moreover, there is no significant relationship between the plasma level of osteopontin and disease severity. The clinical manifestations of alopecia areata might be a sign of the altered protective effects of osteopontin. Needless to say, more investigation is required to clarify the correlation between alopecia areata and osteopontin.