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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec

Pharmacol Res Perspect



Anti-pruritic effect of isothiocyanates: Potential involvement of toll-like receptor 3 signaling.


Moriyama M, Konno M, Serizawa K, Yuzawa N, Majima Y, Hayashi I, Suzuki T, Kainoh M
Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2022 Dec; 10(6):e01038.
PMID: 36507603.


The innate immune system has an emerging role as a mediator of neuro-immune communication and a therapeutic target for itch. Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) plays an important role in itch, as shown in TLR3 knock-out mice. In this study, to evaluate effects of TLR3 inhibitors on histamine-independent itch, we used two kinds of isothiocyanate (ITC). Both phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) and sulforaphane (SFN) inhibited Poly I:C (PIC)-induced signaling in the RAW264.7 cell line. We then investigated the anti-pruritic effect of these compounds on PIC- and chloroquine (CQ)-induced scratching behavior. PEITC and SFN both suppressed PIC-evoked scratching behavior in mice, and PEITC also inhibited CQ-induced acute itch. Finally, we examined the oxazolone-induced chronic itch model in mice. Surprisingly, oral dosing of both compounds suppressed scratching behaviors that were observed in mice. Our findings demonstrate that TLR3 is a critical mediator in acute and chronic itch transduction in mice and may be a promising therapeutic target for pruritus in human skin disorders. It is noteworthy that SFN has potential for use as an antipruritic as it is a phytochemical that is used as a supplement.