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Itching, or pruritus, is defined as an unpleasant cutaneous sensation that serves as a physiological self-protective mechanism to prevent the body from being hurt by harmful external agents. Chronic itch represents a significant clinical problem resulting from renal diseases and liver diseases, as well as several serious skin diseases such as atopic(More)
Itch and pain are two distinct sensations. Although our previous study suggested that gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) is an itch-specific gene in the spinal cord, a long-standing question of whether there are separate neuronal pathways for itch and pain remains unsettled. We selectively ablated lamina I neurons expressing GRPR in the spinal cord(More)
Axonal transection of adult sympathetic and sensory neurons leads to a decrease in their content of target-derived nerve growth factor (NGF) and to dramatic changes in the expression of several neuropeptides and enzymes involved in transmitter biosynthesis. For example, axotomy of sympathetic neurons in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) dramatically(More)
In response to axonal injury, noradrenergic sympathetic neurons of the adult superior cervical ganglion (SCG) alter their neurotransmitter phenotype. These alterations include increases in the levels of the neuropeptides, galanin, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and substance P (SP) and a decrease in the catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme tyrosine(More)
Spinal opioid-induced itch, a prevalent side effect of pain management, has been proposed to result from pain inhibition. We now report that the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) isoform MOR1D is essential for morphine-induced scratching (MIS), whereas the isoform MOR1 is required only for morphine-induced analgesia (MIA). MOR1D heterodimerizes with gastrin-releasing(More)
Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF; also known as cholinergic differentiation factor) is a multifunctional cytokine that affects neurons, as well as many other cell types. To examine its neuronal functions in vivo, we have used LIF-deficient mice. In culture, LIF alters the transmitter phenotype of sympathetic neurons, inducing cholinergic function, reducing(More)
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) expression increases in sympathetic neurons when they are grown in dissociated cell or explant cultures and when they are axotomized in vivo. In dissociated cell culture, the magnitude of the VIP increase was reduced when nonneuronal cells were removed and medium conditioned by ganglionic nonneuronal cells increased VIP(More)
Dramatic changes occur in neuropeptide expression in sensory and sympathetic neurons following axonal injury. Based on the finding that the cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) plays an important role in mediating these changes in sympathetic neurons, its participation in triggering changes in sensory neurons was examined. By the use of transgenic mice(More)
Axonal damage to adult peripheral neurons causes changes in neuronal gene expression. For example, axotomized sympathetic, sensory, and motor neurons begin to express galanin mRNA and protein, and recent evidence suggests that galanin plays a role in peripheral nerve regeneration. Previous studies in sympathetic and sensory neurons have established that(More)
The regulation of the expression of substance P (SP) in the rat superior cervical ganglion was compared to that of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in vivo after axotomy and in vitro after explantation. Previous studies have demonstrated that both neuropeptides increase after explantation, depolarization, and decentralization; however, whereas VIP(More)