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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Aug 2020 - 7 Aug 2020

Animal Studies


2020 Aug 01


Posterior Thalamic Nucleus Mediates Facial Histaminergic Itch.


Zhu Y-B, Xu L, Wang Y, Zhang R, Wang Y-C, Li J-B, Mu D
Neuroscience. 2020 Aug 01.
PMID: 32750381.


Itch induces a desire to scratch and leads to skin damage in some severe conditions. Much progress has been made in the peripheral and spinal level, and recent findings suggested that we need to focus on the central circuitry mechanism. However, the functional role of the thalamus in itch signal processing remains largely unknown. We showed that the posterior thalamic nucleus (Po) played a vital role in modulating facial histaminergic itch signal processing. We found that the calcium signal of Po neurons was increased during the histaminergic itch-induced scratching behavior in the cheek model, and pharmacogenetic suppression of Po neurons reduced the scratching behaviors. Retrograde mapping results suggested that the Po receives information from the somatosensory cortex, motor cortex, parabrachial nucleus (PBN), the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus (PrV) and the spinal trigeminal nucleus (SpV), which participate in itch signal transmission from head and body. Thus, our study indicates that the Po is critical in modulating facial histaminergic itch signal processing.