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Gate control of mechanical itch by a subpopulation of spinal cord interneurons.

Bourane S, Duan B, Koch S, Dalet A, Britz O, Garcia-Campmany L, Kim E, Cheng L, Ghosh A, Ma Q, Goulding M (2015) Gate control of mechanical itch by a subpopulation of spinal cord interneurons. Science 350:550-554. doi: 10.1126/science.aac8653

Summary: Light mechanical stimulation of the hairy skin can induce a form of itch known as mechanical itch. This itch sensation is normally suppressed by inputs from mechanoreceptors, however, in many forms of chronic itch, including alloknesis, this gating mechanism is lost. Scientists demonstrated that a population of spinal inhibitory interneurons (INs), that are defined by the expression of neuropeptide Y::Cre (NPY::Cre), act to gate mechanical itch. Mice in which dorsal NPY::Cre-derived neurons are selectively ablated or silenced develop mechanical itch without an increase in sensitivity to chemical itch or pain. This chronic itch state is histamine-independent and is transmitted independently of the GRP-GRPR signaling pathway. The scientists thereby revealed a dedicated spinal cord inhibitory pathway that gates the transmission of mechanical itch. Mice were given an intrathecal injection of 400 ng of Bombesin-SAP (Cat. #IT-40) in 10 ml of sterile saline to ablate GRPR-expressing neurons.

Related Products: Bombesin-SAP (Cat. #IT-40)

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