Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of itch. The small molecule, called natriuretic polypeptide b (Nppb), streams ahead and selectively plugs into a specific nerve cell in the spinal cord, which sends the signal onward through the central nervous system. When Nppb or its nerve cell was removed, mice stopped scratching at a broad array of itch-inducing substances. The signal wasn’t going through.
Because the nervous systems of mice and humans are similar, the scientists say a comparable biocircuit for itch likely is present in people. If correct, this start switch would provide a natural place to look for unique molecules that can be targeted with drugs to turn off the sensation more efficiently in the millions of people with chronic itch conditions, such eczema and psoriasis.
“Our work shows that itch, once thought to be a low-level form of pain, is a distinct sensation that is uniquely hardwired into the nervous system with the biochemical equivalent of its own dedicated land line to the brain,” said Mark Hoon, Ph.D., the senior author on the paper. Molecule that triggers sensation of itch discovered (via myserendipities)
May the best of your today, be the worst of your tomorrow. Each day being exponentially better.
Walk on through a red parade and refuse to make amends
It cuts deep through our ground and makes us forget all common sense
Don’t speak as I try to leave cause we both know what we’ll choose
If you pulled and I push too deep then I’ll fall right back to you