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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jun 2024 - 14 Jun 2024

2024 Jun

Exp Dermatol




IL-4 and IL-13 are not involved in IL-31-induced itch-associated scratching behaviour in mice.


Kawai R, Ichimasu N, Katagiri K


Itchy skin or pruritus is a common cutaneous symptom that causes an urge to scratch, and the role of interleukins (IL) in itchy skin has been widely studied. IL-4 and IL-13 are known to induce chronic itch. Similarly, the direct role of IL-31 in inducing itch has been demonstrated in clinical situations such as atopic dermatitis and prurigo nodularis. Moreover, IL-4 receptor α antibodies (dupilumab) and IL-31 receptor A antibodies (nemolizumab) inhibit pruritus. However, the interplay between these ILs in pruritus remains unclear. Therefore, we investigated the reciprocal effects of these cytokines on pruritus in mice. The intradermal administration of IL-31 induced itch-associated scratching behaviour in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, the amount of IL-31 and IL-4/IL-13, co-administration or 30 min pre-administration of IL-4/IL-13 and intradermal or intravenous pre-administration of IL-4 did not affect IL-31-induced itch-associated scratching behaviour when it was observed for 30 min, 2 h, 24 h or 48 h. Pre-administration of neutralising antibodies against IL-4 and IL-13 also did not affect IL-31-induced itch-associated scratching behaviour. These results suggest that IL-31 can induce itching independently of IL-4 and IL-13 in vivo.