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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Nov 2020 - 13 Nov 2020

Animal Studies


2020 Nov 10

J Neurosci

FGF13 is required for histamine-induced itch sensation by interaction with Na1.7.


Dong F, Shi H, Yang L, Xue H, Wei M, Zhong Y-Q, Bao L, Zhang X
J Neurosci. 2020 Nov 10.
PMID: 33172979.


Itch can be induced by activation of small-diameter dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons which express abundant intracellular fibroblast growth factor 13 (FGF13). Although FGF13 is revealed to be essential for heat nociception, its role in mediating itch remains to be investigated. Here, we reported that loss of FGF13 in mouse DRG neurons impaired the histamine-induced scratching behavior. Calcium imaging showed that the percentage of histamine-responsive DRG neurons was largely decreased in FGF13-deficient mice, and consistently, electrophysiological recording exhibited that histamine failed to evoke action potential firing in most DRG neurons from these mice. Given that the reduced histamine-evoked neuronal response was caused by knockdown of FGF13 but not by FGF13A deficiency, FGF13B was supposed to mediate this process. Furthermore, overexpression of histamine type 1 receptor H1R, but not H2R, H3R nor H4R, increased the percentage of histamine-responsive DRG neurons, and the scratching behavior in FGF13-deficient mice was highly reduced by selective activation of H1R, suggesting that H1R is mainly required for FGF13-mediated neuronal response and scratching behavior induced by histamine. However, overexpression of H1R failed to rescue the histamine-evoked neuronal response in FGF13-deficient mice. Histamine enhanced the FGF13 interaction with Na1.7. Disruption of this interaction by a membrane-permeable competitive peptide, GST-Flag-Na1.7CT-TAT, reduced the percentage of histamine-responsive DRG neurons, and impaired the histamine-induced scratching, indicating that the FGF13/Na1.7 interaction is a key molecular determinant in the histamine-induced itch sensation. Therefore, our study reveals a novel role of FGF13 in mediating itch sensation via the interaction of Na1.7 in peripheral nervous system.Scratching induced by itch brings serious tissue damage in chronic itchy diseases and targeting itch-sensing molecules is crucial for its therapeutic intervention. Here, we reveal that FGF13 is required for the neuronal excitation and scratching behavior induced by histamine. We further provide the evidence that the histamine-evoked neuronal response is mainly mediated by histamine type 1 receptor H1R, and is largely attenuated in FGF13-deficent mice. Importantly, we identify that histamine enhances the FGF13/Na1.7 interaction, and disruption of this interaction reduces histamine-evoked neuronal excitation and highly impairs histamine-induced scratching behavior. Additionally, we also find that FGF13 is involved in 5-HT-induced scratching behavior and hapten 1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNFB)-induced chronic itch.