Deletion of the preprotachykinin A gene in mice does not reduce scratching behavior elicited by intradermal serotonin

Jason M. Cuellar, Steven L. Jinks, Christopher T. Simons, Earl Carstens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Itch is thought to be signaled by a sub-population of pruritogen-selective C-fiber primary afferents. To assess a possible role of the neuropeptide, substance P (SP), in the central neurotransmission of itch, we investigated itch-related scratching behavior elicited by intradermal injection of serotonin (5-HT; 0.03-0.3%) in normal mice (wildtype, WT) and knockout mice (KO) with deletion of the preprotachykinin A gene. Both KO and WT groups showed dose-related increases in the number of 5-HT-evoked scratching bouts over the 44 min observation period. There were no significant differences in the numbers or durations of scratching bouts between WT and KO groups, although KO mice exhibited numerically more spontaneous and 5-HT-evoked scratching. It is concluded that either SP is not involved in the central neurotransmission of itch-related scratching behavior in this strain of mouse, or that compensatory developmental changes in the KO mice allow itch-related signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 13 2003



  • Itch
  • Mouse
  • Preprotachykinin A gene
  • Scratching behavior
  • Serotonin
  • Substance P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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