• The authors investigated whether a common allelic variation may exist between Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease (VKH) and vitiligo vulgaris. Since it was recently reported that NLRP1 gene polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to vitiligo and other autoimmune diseases, they studied SNPs near this gene. However, they found that none of these SNPs were significantly associated with disease susceptibility or the ocular, neurological and dermatological manifestations of VKH. The study's results suggest that the immunological and genetic mechanisms of VKH and vitiligo vulgaris are different despite the similarities in their skin manifestations.

    The authors sequenced six SNPs (rs6502867, rs925597, rs3926687, rs2733359, rs878329 and rs4790796) near the NLRP1 gene, including noncoding regions, by a direct method in DNA of 167 Japanese VKH patients and 187 Japanese control subjects. The allelic frequency of each SNP in both groups was nearly equal and no association was detected when compared independently.

    They note that few patients with late manifestations of VKH, such as alopecia, poliosis and vitiligo, were enrolled in this study. Therefore, they say that it remains unclear whether SNPs around the NLRP1 gene are associated with the skin lesions of VKH disease. The authors recommend further studies in other clinics and countries in order to elucidate the genetic mechanisms underlying VKH disease.