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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)
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)
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)
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)
Sympathetic neurons and other peripheral neurons exhibit a great deal of plasticity in their neuropeptide phenotype in adulthood. In this review, two phenotypes have been described in detail: that of normal sympathetic neurons and that of axotomized neurons. Two factors produced by nonneuronal cells, LIF and NGF, determine which of these phenotypes is(More)
Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) plays an important role in regulating neuropeptide expression in sympathetic and sensory neurons after axonal transection. By 2 h after axotomy, LIF mRNA increased in nonneuronal cells in sympathetic ganglia and peripheral nerve. In addition, within 1 h of explanting sympathetic ganglia or segments of sympathetic nerve(More)
In the arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus (ARC), galaninergic fibers form synaptic contacts with proopiomelanocortin neurons, which are involved in pain modulation. The present study assessed the role of exogenous and endogenous galanin in the modulation of nociception in the ARC of rats. The hindpaw withdrawal latency (HWL) to thermal and mechanical(More)