Spinothalamic lamina I neurons selectively sensitive to histamine: a central neural pathway for itch

  title={Spinothalamic lamina I neurons selectively sensitive to histamine: a central neural pathway for itch},
  author={David Andrew and A. D. Craig},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
We found a class of lamina I spinothalamic tract (STT) neurons selectively excited by iontophoretic histamine. The responses of this class of neurons parallel the pure itching sensation this stimulus elicits in humans, and match the responses of peripheral C-fibers that have similar selectivity. These neurons have distinct central conduction velocities and thalamic projections, indicating that they constitute a unique subset of STT neurons. These findings can explain why a lesion of the lateral… 
Selective-cold output via a distinct subset of lamina I spinoparabrachial neurons.
It is found that cold-selective SPB neurons are differentiated by selective afferent input, reduced sensitivity to substance P, distinct physiological properties, small soma size, and low basal drive, which suggest that cold output from the spinal cord to the parabrachial nucleus is mediated by a specific cell type with distinct properties.
Updated neurophysiology of itch.
  • A. Ikoma
  • Biology
    Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin
  • 2013
The unique physiological features of histamine-sensitive C-fibers and spinothalamic tract neurons support the hypothesis of itch specific pathway, whereas subsequent studies on cowhage-induced itch
Physiological properties of the lamina I spinoparabrachial neurons in the mouse
  • J. Allard
  • Biology
    The Journal of physiology
  • 2019
The present work indicates that the study of lamina I SPB neurons in vivo could take advantage of the use of genetically modified mice, and it was confirmed ‘on line’ thatLamina ISPB neurons that normally encode noxious stimuli can receive input from low threshold mechanoreceptors in certain conditions.
A labeled-line for cold from the periphery to the parabrachial nucleus
Cold-selective SPB neurons are differentiated by selective afferent input, reduced neuropeptide sensitivity, distinct physiological properties, small soma size, and low basal drive, which define a neural substrate supporting a labeled-line for cold from the periphery to the brain.
Relief of itch by scratching: state-dependent inhibition of primate spinothalamic tract neurons
It is observed that scratching the cutaneous receptive field of primate STT neurons produced inhibition during histamine-evoked activity but not during spontaneous activity or activity evoked by a painful stimulus, suggesting that scratching inhibits the transmission of itch in the spinal cord in a state-dependent manner.
Pruriceptive spinothalamic tract neurons: physiological properties and projection targets in the primate.
Results show that pruriceptive information is encoded by polymodal STT neurons in histaminergic or nonhistaminergic pathways and transmitted to the ventrobasal complex and posterior thalamus in primates.
Is there a specific lamina I spinothalamocortical pathway for pain and temperature sensations in primates?
  • A. Craig, A. Blomqvist
  • Biology
    The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society
  • 2002
The evidence indicates a view of ascending pain pathways that is conceptually distinct from Willis et al's view, as well as addressing a few major issues raised in their article.
Spinothalamic lamina I neurones selectively responsive to cutaneous warming in cats
The discharge of Warm cells compares well with the known human psychophysics of warm sensibility, and these neurones are likely to be crucial to discriminative thermoreception, which is a defining feature of mammalian homeostasis.
Peripheral and Central Mechanisms of Itch
A tale of two neurons in the upper airways: Pain versus itch
Separate itch- and pain-specific peripheral type C fibers, secondary relay interneurons in the spinal cord dorsal horn, anatomical locations in the lateral spinothalamic tract, and thalamic nuclei demonstrate that all nociceptive nerves are not the same.


Nociceptive and thermoreceptive lamina I neurons are anatomically distinct
The results support the view that central pain and temperature pathways contain anatomically discrete sets of modality-selective neurons.
Itching for an explanation
Superficial dorsal horn neurons identified by intracutaneous histamine: chemonociceptive responses and modulation by morphine.
The results indicate that superficial dorsal horn neurons respond to both pruritic and algesic chemical stimuli and thus might participate in transmitting sensations of itch and/or chemogenic pain.
Responses of rat spinal dorsal horn neurons to intracutaneous microinjection of histamine, capsaicin, and other irritants.
  • E. Carstens
  • Biology, Medicine
    Journal of neurophysiology
  • 1997
To investigate the spinal processing of cutaneous pruritic and algesic stimuli, single-unit recordings were made from wide-dynamic-range-type lumbar spinal dorsal horn neurons in pentobarbital-sodium-anesthetized rats to reconcile psychophysical and clinical observations of pain and itch sensation.
Morphological classes of spinothalamic lamina I neurons in the cat
The morphology and distribution of retrogradely labeled spinothalamic tract neurons in lamina I of the spinal dorsal horn after large injections of cholera toxin subunit B (CTb) or Fast Blue into the contralateral thalamus of cats is examined.
Novel classes of responsive and unresponsive C nociceptors in human skin
Novel classes of C nociceptors in human skin are reported, namely, units responding only to mechanical stimuli (CM), units respondingonly to heating (CH), and units that were insensitive to mechanical and heating stimuli and also to sympathetic provocation tests (CMiHi).