Transcutaneous Auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation Alleviates Monobenzone-Induced Vitiligo in Mice

Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Mar 18;25(6):3411. doi: 10.3390/ijms25063411.


Vitiligo is a complex skin disorder that involves oxidative stress and inflammatory responses and currently lacks a definitive cure. Transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) is a noninvasive method for targeting the auricular branch of the vagus nerve and has gained widespread attention for potential intervention in the autonomic nervous system. Although previous research has suggested that vagus nerve stimulation can potentially inhibit inflammatory responses, its specific role and mechanisms in vitiligo treatment remain unknown. This study aimed to explore the therapeutic effects of taVNS in a mouse model of vitiligo induced by monobenzone. Initially, a quantitative assessment of the treatment effects on vitiligo mice was conducted using a scoring system, revealing that taVNS significantly alleviated symptoms, particularly by reducing the depigmented areas. Subsequent immunohistochemical analysis revealed the impact of taVNS treatment on melanocyte granules, mitigating pigment loss in the skin of monobenzone-induced vitiligo mice. Further analysis indicated that taVNS exerted its therapeutic effects through multiple mechanisms, including the regulation of oxidative stress, enhancement of antioxidant capacity, promotion of tyrosine synthesis, and suppression of inflammatory responses. The conclusions of this study not only emphasize the potential value of taVNS in vitiligo therapy, but also lay a foundation for future research into the mechanisms and clinical applications of taVNS.

PMID:38542385 | PMC:PMC10970032 | DOI:10.3390/ijms25063411