Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

A circuit controlling mechanical itch

See allHide authors and affiliations

Sci. Signal.  03 Nov 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 401, pp. ec325
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad7727

Considerable progress has been made in understanding and treating chemically induced itch. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying mechanically evoked itch. Bourane et al. produced a model of mechanical itch by reducing the number of neuropeptide Y–expressing inhibitory spinal interneurons. This led to a selective increase in mechanically evoked itch-like behavior in mice. In contrast, chemically evoked itch or pain behavior remained unaffected.

S. Bourane, B. Duan, S. C. Koch, A. Dalet, O. Britz, L. Garcia-Campmany, E. Kim, L. Cheng, A. Ghosh, Q. Ma, M. Goulding, Gate control of mechanical itch by a subpopulation of spinal cord interneurons. Science 350, 550–554 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]