KeypointsMelanocytes are located in both the cochlea and vestibular organ of the inner ear. They are present in the hearing organ, in the intermediate layer of stria vascularis in the cochlea.The most important task of the stria vascularis is to provide the endolymph production necessary for normal hearing levels, especially high K+ concentration, and to protect the positive endocochlear potential.Specifically, intermediate layer melanocytes express ionic channels, such as inwardly rectifying K+ channels and voltage‐dependent outwardly rectifying K+.The underlying mechanisms of the damage to melanocytes in the skin can also affect other organs, including inner ear.Coexistence of cochlear dysfunction in patients with alopecia areata suggests that presumed autoimmunity against follicular melanocytes in AA might also effect the melanocytes in the inner ear. This could strengthen the relationship between sensorineural hearing loss and autoimmunity.INTRODUCTIONAlopecia areata (AA) is considered as an autoimmune disease which affects hair follicles and consequently results in hair loss. The prevalence of autoimmune diseases associated with other studies has been recorded at 12%. Autoimmune thyroid diseases, psoriasis, pernicious anaemia and vitiligo may frequently occur with alopecia areata. Several studies have provided evidence that follicular melanocytes might be a significant target in this autoimmune process. The underlying mechanism of
Clinical Otolaryngology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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