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We examined whether neuronal proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) may be involved in pruritus of human skin. The endogenous PAR-2 agonist tryptase was increased up to fourfold in atopic dermatitis (AD) patients. PAR-2 was markedly enhanced on primary afferent nerve fibers in skin biopsies of AD patients. Intracutaneous injection of endogenous PAR-2(More)
The neurobiology of itch, which is formally known as pruritus, and its interaction with pain have been illustrated by the complexity of specific mediators, itch-related neuronal pathways and the central processing of itch. Scratch-induced pain can abolish itch, and analgesic opioids can generate itch, which indicates an antagonistic interaction. However,(More)
BACKGROUND Although the cytokine IL-31 has been implicated in inflammatory and lymphoma-associated itch, the cellular basis for its pruritic action is yet unclear. OBJECTIVE We sought to determine whether immune cell-derived IL-31 directly stimulates sensory neurons and to identify the molecular basis of IL-31-induced itch. METHODS We used(More)
Lightly touching normal skin near a site of itch can elicit itch sensation, a phenomenon known as alloknesis. To investigate the neural mechanisms of alloknesis, we have developed an animal model. Low-threshold mechanical stimulation of the skin normally does not elicit any response in naive C57/BL6 mice. Following acute intradermal (i.d.) injection of(More)
Cerebral processing of itch-scratching cycles was studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in healthy volunteers. The back of the hand was repetitively scratched in the absence and presence of itch induced by histamine applied close to the scratched site. Blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) effects were assessed in predefined cortical(More)
Aquaporin-3 (AQP3) is a water/glycerol-transporting protein expressed in keratinocytes of the epidermis. We previously showed that AQP3-mediated transport of water and glycerol is involved in keratinocyte migration and proliferation, respectively. However, the involvement of AQP3 in epidermal hyperplasia in skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis (AD), is(More)
Itch has been described for many years as an unpleasant sensation that evokes the urgent desire to scratch. Studies of the neurobiology, neurophysiology, and cellular biology of itch have gradually been clarifying the mechanism of itch both peripherally and centrally. The discussion has been focused on which nerves and neuroreceptors play major roles in(More)
We compared itch sensations and axon reflex flare induced by transcutaneous electrical (0.08-8 ms, 2-200 Hz) and chemical (histamine iontophoresis; 100 microC) stimulation. Stimuli were applied to non-lesional volar wrist skin in 20 healthy human subjects and 10 patients with atopic dermatitis. Intensity of evoked itch and pain sensations were rated on a(More)
The short in vivo half-life of IFN-gamma can prevent the cytokine from inducing immunological changes that are favorable for the treatment of Th2-dominant diseases, such as atopic dermatitis. To examine whether a sustained supply of IFN-gamma is effective in regulating the balance of Th lymphocyte subpopulations, plasmid vector encoding mouse IFN-gamma,(More)
In humans, pruritus (itch) is a common but poorly understood symptom in numerous skin and systemic diseases. Endothelin 1 (ET-1) evokes histamine-independent pruritus in mammals through activation of its cognate G protein-coupled receptor endothelin A receptor (ETAR). Here, we have identified neural endothelin-converting enzyme 1 (ECE-1) as a key regulator(More)