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Cross-sensitization of histamine-independent itch in mouse primary sensory neurons.

Akiyama T., Tominaga M., Davoodi A., Nagamine M., Blansit K., Horwitz A., Carstens M.I., Carstens E.

Overexpression of pruritogens and their precursors may contribute to the sensitization of histamine-dependent and -independent itch-signaling pathways in chronic itch. We presently investigated self- and cross-sensitization of scratching behavior elicited by various pruritogens, and their effects on primary sensory neurons. The MrgprC11 agonist BAM8-22 exhibited self- and reciprocal cross-sensitization of scratching evoked by the protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) agonist SLIGRL. The MrgprA3 agonist chloroquine unidirectionally cross-sensitized BAM8-22-evoked scratching. Histamine unidirectionally cross-sensitized scratching evoked by chloroquine and BAM8-22. SLIGRL unidirectionally cross-sensitized scratching evoked by chloroquine. Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells responded to various combinations of pruritogens and algogens. Neither chloroquine, BAM8-22 nor histamine had any effect on responses of DRG cell responses to subsequently applied pruritogens, implying that their behavioral self- and cross-sensitization effects are mediated indirectly. SLIGRL unilaterally cross-sensitized responses of DRG cells to chloroquine and BAM8-22, consistent with the behavioral data. These results indicate that unidirectional cross-sensitization of histamine-independent itch-signaling pathways might occur at a peripheral site through PAR-2. PAR-2 expressed in pruriceptive nerve endings is a potential target to reduce sensitization associated with chronic itch.

Neuroscience 226:305-312(2012) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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