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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jun 2019 - 7 Jun 2019

Animal Studies



PLoS One



Enhanced histamine-induced itch in diacylglycerol kinase iota knockout mice.


Bartsch V B, Niehaus JK, Taylor-Blake B, Zylka MJ
PLoS One. 2019; 14(6):e0217819.
PMID: 31167004.


Subsets of small-diameter dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons detect pruritogenic (itch-causing) and algogenic (pain-causing) stimuli and can be activated or sensitized by chemical mediators. Many of these chemical mediators activate receptors that are coupled to lipid hydrolysis and diacylglycerol (DAG) production. Diacylglycerol kinase iota (DGKI) can phosphorylate DAG and is expressed at high levels in small-diameter mouse DRG neurons. Given the importance of these neurons in sensing pruritogenic and algogenic chemicals, we sought to determine if loss of DGKI impaired responses to itch- or pain-producing stimuli. Using male and female Dgki-knockout mice, we found that in vivo sensitivity to histamine-but not other pruritogens-was enhanced. In contrast, baseline pain sensitivity and pain sensitization following inflammatory or neuropathic injury were equivalent between wild type and Dgki-/- mice. In vitro calcium responses in DRG neurons to histamine was enhanced, while responses to algogenic ligands were unaffected by Dgki deletion. These data suggest Dgki regulates sensory neuron and behavioral responses to histamine, without affecting responses to other pruritogenic or algogenic agents.