Liu XY, Liu ZC, Sun YG, Ross M, Kim S, Tsai FF, Li QF, Jeffry J, Kim JY, Loh HH, Chen ZF (2011) Unidirectional cross-activation of GRPR by MOR1D uncouples itch and analgesia induced by opioids. Cell 147(2):447-458. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.08.043
Summary: Recent work has begun to define the different pathways used by itch and pain. This study was designed to investigate whether opioids cause the itch sensation by gastrin releasing peptide receptor activation. Mice received intrathecal injections of bombesin-SAP (Cat. #IT-40) in order to investigate the coexpression of various signaling molecules in the spinal cord. Blank-SAP (Cat. #IT-21) was used as a control. The data suggest that opioid-induced itch is independent of opioid analgesia, and is controlled through a mu-opioid receptor isoform.