Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2017 Aug 18;357(6352):695-699. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf4918.

A central neural circuit for itch sensation.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yue-Yang Road, Shanghai 200031, China.
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19A Yu-quan Road, Beijing 100049, China.
3
Department of Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology, K. K. Leung Brain Research Centre, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China.
4
Institute of Neuroscience, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yue-Yang Road, Shanghai 200031, China. yangang.sun@ion.ac.cn.

Abstract

Although itch sensation is an important protective mechanism for animals, chronic itch remains a challenging clinical problem. Itch processing has been studied extensively at the spinal level. However, how itch information is transmitted to the brain and what central circuits underlie the itch-induced scratching behavior remain largely unknown. We found that the spinoparabrachial pathway was activated during itch processing and that optogenetic suppression of this pathway impaired itch-induced scratching behaviors. Itch-mediating spinal neurons, which express the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor, are disynaptically connected to the parabrachial nucleus via glutamatergic spinal projection neurons. Blockade of synaptic output of glutamatergic neurons in the parabrachial nucleus suppressed pruritogen-induced scratching behavior. Thus, our studies reveal a central neural circuit that is critical for itch signal processing.

PMID:
28818946
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaf4918
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center