Research ArticleSensory Perception

Facilitation of TRPV4 by TRPV1 is required for itch transmission in some sensory neuron populations

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Science Signaling  19 Jul 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 437, pp. ra71
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaf1047

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An itchy pair of channels

Chronic itching is a serious condition and is often resistant to antihistamines. Kim and colleagues explored the channels in sensory neurons that mediate the response to itch-inducing stimuli, in particular the inflammatory mediator histamine and the antimalarial drug chloroquine, both of which activate distinct G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) at the cell surface. Although TRPV1 and TRPA1, two members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of calcium channels, have been implicated in histamine- and chloroquine-induced itching, the authors found that a third member of this family, TRPV4, was also important. Sensory neurons with both TRPV4 and TRPV1 responded to both histamine and chloroquine. Additionally, TRPV4 interacted with TRPV1, enhancing TRPV4 activity. Their data decode itch perception and suggest that targeting TRPV1 or TRPV4 may be beneficial in treating intractable chronic itch.

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