Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Comparison of alopecia areata in human and nonhuman mammalian species.

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Publication Date



Alopecia Areata/etiology/pathology/veterinary, Autoantibodies, Autoimmune Diseases/etiology/pathology/veterinary, Cats, Cattle, Comparative Study, Disease Models, Animal, Dogs, Hair Follicle, Horses, Human, Immunity, Cellular, Mice, Mice, Inbred C3H, Phenotype, Primates, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Species Specificity

JAX Source

Pathobiology 1998;66(2):90-107




Alopecia areata (AA) is a nonscarring form of inflammatory hair loss in humans. AA-like hair loss has also been observed in other species. In recent years the Dundee experimental bald rat and the C3H/HeJ mouse have been put forward as models for human AA. AA in all species presents with a wide range of clinical features from focal, locally extensive, diffuse hair loss, to near universal alopecia. Histologically, all species have dystrophic anagen stage hair follicles associated with a peri- and intrafollicular inflammatory cell infiltrate. Autoantibodies directed against anagen stage hair follicle structures are a consistent finding. Observations on AA pathogenesis suggest nonhuman species can provide excellent models for the human disease. Ultimately, animal models will be used to determine the genetic basis of AA, potential endogenous and/or environmental trigger(s), mechanism(s) of disease initiation and progression, and allow rapid evaluation of new and improved disease treatments.

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