Transmitters and pathways mediating inhibition of spinal Itch-Signaling neurons by scratching and other counterstimuli

Tasuku Akiyama, Mirela Carstens, Earl Carstens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scratching relieves itch, but the underlying neural mechanisms are poorly understood. We presently investigated a role for the inhibitory neurotransmitters GABA and glycine in scratch-evoked inhibition of spinal itch-signaling neurons in a mouse model of chronic dry skin itch. Superficial dorsal horn neurons ipsilateral to hindpaw dry skin treatment exhibited a high level of spontaneous firing that was significantly attenuated by cutaneous scratching, pinch and noxious heat. Scratch-evoked inhibition was nearly abolished by spinal delivery of the glycine antagonist, strychnine, and was markedly attenuated by respective GABA A and GABA B antagonists bicuculline and saclofen. Scratch-evoked inhibition was also significantly attenuated (but not abolished) by interruption of the upper cervical spinal cord, indicating the involvement of both segmental and suprasegmental circuits that engage glycine- and GABA-mediated inhibition of spinal itch-signaling neurons by noxious counterstimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22665
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Fingerprint

gamma-aminobutyric acid
Glycine
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Neurons
Transmitters
neurons
glycine (amino acid)
Skin
GABA-B Receptor Antagonists
skin (animal)
Posterior Horn Cells
antagonists
Strychnine
Bicuculline
strychnine
Neurotransmitter Agents
Hot Temperature
neurotransmitters
spinal cord
Networks (circuits)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Transmitters and pathways mediating inhibition of spinal Itch-Signaling neurons by scratching and other counterstimuli. / Akiyama, Tasuku; Carstens, Mirela; Carstens, Earl.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 7, e22665, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Akiyama, Tasuku ; Carstens, Mirela ; Carstens, Earl. / Transmitters and pathways mediating inhibition of spinal Itch-Signaling neurons by scratching and other counterstimuli. In: PLoS One. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 7.
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