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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 May 2023 - 12 May 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology


2023 Jun

Exp Ther Med




Estrogen alleviates acute and chronic itch in mice.


Jin J, Li L, Wang Y, Li K, Qian A, Li W, Liu Q, Wen C, Liu Q, Yan G, Xue F


Itching is associated with various skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis and allergic dermatitis, and leads to repeated scratching behavior and unpleasant sensation. Although clinical and laboratory research data have shown that estrogen is involved in regulating itch, the molecular and cellular basis of estrogen in itch sensation remains elusive. In the present study, it was found that estrogen-treated mice exhibited reduced scratching bouts when challenged with histamine, chloroquine, the proteinase-activated receptor-2 activating peptide SLIGRL-NH2 (SLIGRL), compound 48/80, and 5-hydroxytryptamine when compared with mice in the placebo group. Moreover, estrogen also suppressed scratching bouts in the mouse model of chronic itch induced by acetone-ether-water treatment. Notably, consistent with the behavioral tests, the present RNA-seq analysis showed that estrogen treatment caused significantly reduced expression levels of itch-related molecules such as Mas-related G-protein coupled receptor member A3, neuromedin B and natriuretic polypeptide b. In addition, estradiol attenuated histamine-induced and chloroquine-induced calcium influx in dorsal root ganglion neurons. Collectively, the data of the present study suggested that estrogen modulates the expression of itch-related molecules and suppresses both acute and chronic itch in mice.