The Molecular Basis of an Itch
A new study of male mice published in JNeurosci uncovers two distinct pathways through which a single molecule can cause both itchy and painful skin. The research could inform the development of drugs for a variety of skin diseases.
Diana Bautista and colleagues show that sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) — a molecule implicated in skin conditions such as psoriasis as well as other inflammatory diseases including asthma and multiple sclerosis — triggers itch in addition to its known role in pain. Their work identifies a receptor of this molecule, S1PR3, expressed in sensory neurons is responsible for these sensations. The findings suggest that blocking this receptor may represent a promising therapeutic approach for managing both pain and itch.
This article has been republished from materials provided by SfN. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Hill, R., Morita, T., Brem, R., & Bautista, D. (2018). S1PR3 mediates itch and pain via distinct TRP channel-dependent pathways. The Journal Of Neuroscience, 1266-18. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.1266-18.2018
A recent retrospective study evaluating continuous electroencephalography (cEEG) of children in intensive care units (ICUs) found a higher than anticipated number of seizures. The work also identified several conditions closely associated with the seizures, and suggests that cEEG monitoring may be a valuable tool for helping to identify and treat neurological problems in patients who are 14 months old or younger.
Pain is a negative feeling that we want to get rid of as soon as possible. In order to protect our bodies, we react for example by withdrawing the hand. This action is usually understood as the consequence of the perception of pain. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now shown that perception, the impulse to act and provision of energy to do so take place in the brain simultaneously and not, as was expected, one after the other.