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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Sep 2022 - 16 Sep 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Sep 01

Int J Mol Sci



Critical Players and Therapeutic Targets in Chronic Itch.


Yang H, Chen W, Zhu R, Wang J, Meng J
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 01; 23(17).
PMID: 36077340.


Chronic itch is one of the most prominent clinical characteristics of diverse systematic diseases. It is a devastating sensation in pathological diseases. Despite its importance, there are no FDA-labelled drugs specifically geared toward chronic itch. The associated complex pathogenesis and diverse causes escalate chronic itch to being one of the top challenges in healthcare. Humanized antibodies against IL-13, IL-4, and IL-31 proved effective in treatment of itch-associated atopic dermatitis but remain to be validated in chronic itch. There are still no satisfactory anti-itch therapeutics available toward itch-related neuropeptides including GRP, BNP, SST, CGRP, and SP. The newly identified potential itch targets including OSM, NMB, glutamate, periostin, and Serpin E1 have opened new avenues for therapeutic development. Proof-of-principle studies have been successfully performed on antagonists against these proteins and their receptors in itch treatment in animal models. Their translational interventions in humans need to be evaluated. It is of great importance to summarize and compare the newly emerging knowledge on chronic itch and its pathways to promote the development of novel anti-itch therapeutics. The goal of this review is to analyze the different physiologies and pathophysiologies of itch mediators, whilst assessing their suitability as new targets and discussing future therapeutic development.