P14 ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME GENE INSERTION/DELETION POLYMORPHISM IN KOREAN PATIENTS WITN ALOPECIA AREATA
Sim WY1, Yoon JB1, Hong SB1, Jin SY2, Chung JH2
Department of Dermatology1, and Pharmacology2, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea

Much clinical evidence suggests that the nervous system, including psychological factors, can influence the course of alopecia areata (AA). Sensory nerve-derived neuropeptides such as substance P (SP) demonstrate a number of proinflammatory bioactivities. The biological actions of SP are terminated by proteolytic enzyme such as the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which is considered to be important regulator in neurogenic inflammation. Recently, characterization of the expression of SP and ACE in alopecia areata lesions has been reported. The ACE gene was selected as a candidate gene as ACE plays an important role in the physiology of the vasculature and inflammation, and its relationship with various diseases, including autoimmune diseases. To investigate the significance of ACE gene insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism in AA patients. We genotyped 198 AA Korean patients and 429 matched Korean controls. The ACE gene genotype distribution (P = 0.001) was significantly different between AA patients and normal controls. A significant association between the D allele and severe form alopecia areata (P = 0.005) was observed. This study suggests that the ACE gene polymorphism has a strong association with the development of AA in Korean patients.