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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Jul 2019 - 2 Aug 2019

Animal Studies


2019 Jul 26

Sci Rep



BAM8-22 and its receptor MRGPRX1 may attribute to cholestatic pruritus.


Sanjel B, Maeng H-J, Shim W-S
Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 26; 9(1):10888.
PMID: 31350433.


Pruritus is an unexpected symptom observed in cholestasis and its mechanism is still unclear. Here, we show that bovine adrenal medulla (BAM) 8-22, an endogenous itch-inducing peptide, could be involved in cholestatic pruritus. It was found that bile duct ligation (BDL) mice, an obstructive cholestasis model, showed increased spontaneous scratching behaviour. Importantly, the mRNA level of proenkephalin, a precursor polypeptide of BAM8-22, was significantly increased in the skin of BDL mice. Furthermore, the mRNA level of Mrgprx1, which encodes a receptor for BAM8-22, was significantly increased in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of BDL mice. This was further confirmed by elevation of intracellular calcium levels upon BAM8-22 treatment in primarily-cultured DRG neurons. In addition, BDL mice showed augmented scratching behaviour by BAM8-22, indicating enhanced activity of MRGPRX1. Moreover, the skin homogenate of BDL mice induced elevation of intracellular calcium levels through MRGPRX1. Finally, among the various bile acids, chenodeoxycholic acid significantly increased proenkephalin transcription in a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT). In conclusion, cholestatic pruritus could be attributed in part to enhanced action of both BAM8-22 in the skin and its receptor MRGPRX1 in sensory neurons.