Itch is triggered by somatosensory neurons expressing the ion channel TRPV1 (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1). Neuropeptide natriuretic polypeptide b (Nppb) is expressed in a subset of TRPV1 neurons and research has found that Nppb lesioned mice selectively lose almost all behavioral responses to itch-inducing agents. Itch responses are blocked by toxin-mediated ablation of Nppb-receptor expressing cells, but a second neuropeptide, gastrin-releasing peptide (Bombesin-SAP, IT-40), still induces strong responses in the toxin-treated animals. Nppb-SAP eliminates cells expressing neuropeptide natriuretic polypeptide b (Nppb or BNP) receptor.
Nppb-SAP eliminates Nppb-receptor expressing cells. All other cells are left untouched. It is not suitable for retrograde transport.
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