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Papers: 9 Jan 2021 - 15 Jan 2021


2021 Jan 11

Exp Dermatol

Itch intensity in prurigo nodularis is closely related with dermal interleukin-31, oncostatin M, IL-31 receptor alpha, and oncostatin M receptor beta.


Hashimoto T, Nattkemper LA, Kim H S, Kursewicz CD, Fowler E, Shah SM, Nanda S, Fayne RA, Paolini JF, Romanelli P, Yosipovitch G
Exp Dermatol. 2021 Jan 11.
PMID: 33428793.


Prurigo nodularis (PN) is a chronic skin dermatosis with hyperkeratotic and intensely pruritic nodules. Managing PN-associated itch is difficult because its etiology is still unknown. This study aimed to investigate the correlation between itch intensity in PN and the expression of a pruritogenic cytokine interleukin (IL)-31, its receptor complex components IL-31 receptor a (IL31RA) and oncostatin M receptor b (OSMRb), and oncostatin M (OSM), which is a ligand of OSMRb, through immunofluorescence staining examination. Itch intensity in PN was closely correlated with the number of dermal IL-31(+) cells (Spearman's r = 0.551, p < 0.05), dermal IL-31RA(+) cells(r = 0.475, p < 0.05), and dermal OSM(+) cells (r = 0.505, p < 0.05). In addition, the number of dermal OSMRb(+) cells was increased in PN (t-test, p < 0.05), despite not being correlated with itch intensity (Spearman's r = 0.375, p > 0.05). Major cellular sources of dermal IL-31 were T cells (27.0% of total IL-31-expressing cells) and macrophages (35.0%), while those of OSM were mainly T cells (49.8%) and mast cells (26.8%). IL-31RA expressing dermal cells were mostly mast cells (49.3%) and macrophages (36.6%), and OSMRb were mainly expressed by macrophages (51.8%) in the dermis. These findings indicate that IL-31 (mainly from macrophages and T cells) and OSM (principally from T cells and mast cells) stimulate dermal cells expressing IL-31RA and OSMRb (e.g. macrophages), which may further promote itch and inflammation in PN. This complex dermal milieu of cell/cytokine/receptor network can be a therapeutic target for PN-associated itch.