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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Apr 2020 - 1 May 2020


2020 Apr 22

J Clin Med



The Skin Microbiota and Itch: Is There a Link?


Kim H S, Yosipovitch G
J Clin Med. 2020 Apr 22; 9(4).
PMID: 32331207.


Itch is an unpleasant sensation that emanates primarily from the skin. The chemical mediators that drive neuronal activity originate from a complex interaction between keratinocytes, inflammatory cells, nerve endings and the skin microbiota, relaying itch signals to the brain. Stress also exacerbates itch via the skin-brain axis. Recently, the microbiota has surfaced as a major player to regulate this axis, notably during stress settings aroused by actual or perceived homeostatic challenge. The routes of communication between the microbiota and brain are slowly being unraveled and involve neurochemicals (i.e., acetylcholine, histamine, catecholamines, corticotropin) that originate from the microbiota itself. By focusing on itch biology and by referring to the more established field of pain research, this review examines the possible means by which the skin microbiota contributes to itch.