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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Apr 2020 - 17 Apr 2020

Animal Studies


2020 Apr 11

J Invest Dermatol

Sensory neuron-expressed transient receptor potential channel 4 is a target for the relief of psoriasiform itch and skin inflammation in mice.


Psoriasis is inflammatory skin disease associated with itch, a troublesome symptom with few therapeutic options. Transient receptor potential channel 4 (TRPC4) is highly expressed in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). Recently, we have revealed a previously unknown itch signaling in DRG neurons by which TRPC4 mediates itch to serotonergic antidepressants, and demonstrated the antipruritic effect of the TRPC4 inhibitor ML204. However, the role of TRPC4 in acute and chronic itch is still largely unknown. Here, we have characterized the expression of TRPC4 in peptidergic DRG neurons and showed that acute itch induced by serotonin and histamine was attenuated in TRPC4 knockout (TRPC4 KO) mice and mice treated with ML204. We also showed that silencing TRPC4 in DRG and its inhibition by intradermal injections were also effective in decreasing psoriatic itch after repeated applications of imiquimod (IMQ), a preclinical model of psoriasis. Of clinical relevance, intradermal injections of ML204 in psoriasiform skin significantly reversed IMQ-established chronic itch and cutaneous inflammation. Given that TRPC4 is expressed in human DRGs and a specific inhibitor is in clinical trials, our data not only expand our understanding of itch and psoriasis, but also reveal TRPC4 as a potential therapeutic target with considerable translational benefit.