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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Feb 2024 - 9 Feb 2024

2024 Feb 03

Exp Mol Pathol


Molecular and cellular pruritus mechanisms in the host skin.


Li L, Li ZE, Mo YL, Li WY, Li HJ, Yan GH, Qin XZ, Piao LH


Pruritus, also known as itching, is a complex sensation that involves the activation of specific physiological and cellular receptors. The skin is innervated with sensory nerves as well as some receptors for various sensations, and its immune system has prominent neurological connections. Sensory neurons have a considerable impact on the sensation of itching. However, immune cells also play a role in this process, as they release pruritogens. Disruption of the dermal barrier activates an immune response, initiating a series of chemical, physical, and cellular reactions. These reactions involve various cell types, including keratinocytes, as well as immune cells involved in innate and adaptive immunity. Collective activation of these immune responses confers protection against potential pathogens. Thus, understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to pruritus in host skin is crucial for the advancement of effective treatment approaches. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of the present knowledge concerning the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying itching signaling in the skin. Additionally, this review explored the integration of these mechanisms with the broader context of itch mediators and the expression of their receptors in the skin.