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Papers: 15 Jun 2019 - 21 Jun 2019

Animal Studies


2019 Sep

Am J Pathol



Involvement of α-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone-Thromboxane A System on Itching in Atopic Dermatitis.


Andoh T, Akasaka C, Shimizu K, Lee J-B, Yoshihisa Y, Shimizu T
Am J Pathol. 2019 Sep; 189(9):1775-1785.
PMID: 31220451.


α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is an endogenous peptide hormone involved in cutaneous pigmentation in atopic dermatitis (AD) with severe itching. α-MSH elicits itch-related responses in mice. We therefore investigated whether α-MSH was involved in itching in AD. In the skin of AD patients and mice with atopy-like dermatitis, α-MSH and the prohormone convertase 2, which is the key processing enzyme for the production of α-MSH, were distributed mainly in keratinocytes. In the skin of mice with dermatitis, α-MSH receptors (MC1R and MC5R) were expressed at the mRNA level and were distributed in the dermis. In the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of mice with dermatitis, mRNAs encoding MC1 and MC3∼5 were also expressed. MC1R antagonist agouti-signaling protein inhibited spontaneous scratching in mice with dermatitis. In healthy mice, intradermal α-MSH elicited itch-associated responses, which were inhibited by TP thromboxane (TX) receptor antagonist ONO-3708. In mouse keratinocytes, α-MSH increased the production of TXA, which was inhibited by adenylyl cyclase inhibitor SQ-22536 and Ca chelator EGTA. In mouse keratinocytes treated with siRNA for MC1R and/or MC5R, α-MSH-induced TXA production was decreased. α-MSH increased intracellular Ca ion concentration in DRG neurons and keratinocytes. These results suggest that α-MSH is involved in itching during AD and may elicit itching through the direct action of primary afferents and TXA production by keratinocytes.