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Papers: 4 Jul 2020 - 10 Jul 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development


2020 Jun 30

Eur J Pharmacol

Serotonin and noradrenaline modulate chronic itch processing in mice.


Miyahara Y, Funahashi H, Naono-Nakayama R, Haruta-Tsukamoto A, Muroi C, Kogoh Y, Nishimori T, Ishida Y
Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Jun 30:173319.
PMID: 32619678.


The roles of serotonin and noradrenaline in the modulation of chronic pruriceptive processing currently remain unclear. To clarify the contribution of serotonin and noradrenaline to chronic itch, the effects of the administration of antidepressants or noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors were evaluated in the present study. A pretreatment with milnacipran, a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, and mirtazapine, a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant, attenuated the induction of spontaneous scratching behavior in mice with chronic itch. The administration of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, such as fluvoxamine and paroxetine, but not escitalopram, or a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, such as atomoxetine and nisoxetine, ameliorated the induction of spontaneous scratching behavior in mice with chronic itch. Furthermore, this attenuation was reversed by the administration of yohimbine, a selective α-adrenoceptor antagonist, or methysergide, a non-selective serotonin receptor antagonist. These results suggest that elevated serotonin and noradrenaline levels are involved in the attenuation of scratching behavior induced by chronic itch, and serotonin receptors and an α-adrenoceptor play a crucial role in chronic pruriceptive processing.