How is innocuous light touch converted into itch?

A new study, from Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen’s team, reveals a novel neural circuit that converts innocuous light touch into an irritating itch sensation. Tac2 neurons receive light touch information and convey it to GRPR neurons, which convert it into irritating itch.

GRP fibers in the skin are itch specific

Using novel genetic tools, Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen’s team has demonstrated the role of GRP in nonhistaminergic itch in sensory neurons and GRP primary afferents are dedicated to the itch transmission.

Revving up immune system may help treat eczema

Brian S. Kim, MD, has found that boosting the number of natural killer cells in the blood is a possible treatment strategy for the skin condition, eczema, and also may help with related health problems, such as asthma.

What makes the aging skin itchy?

Congratulation to Dr. Hongzhen Hu!  A new study explains why getting old may make you itchy.  Read news Record, Science, Live Science, UPI, Science Alert, PainWeek,

Potential new therapy relieves chronic itch

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Kim’s team! Dr. Brian Kim, dermatologist, and Landon Oetjen, MD/PhD student, of the CSI discover highly promising new pathway for the treatment of chronic itch. Please read news Record, Daily Mail.

Why itch is contagious?

Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen’s team discovers why mice scratch in response to other mice scratching. Read news Record, St.Louis Public Radio, Independent, NBC, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Hoffington Post, Smithsonian, Express, Livescience, Inverse, Cell, 知识分子. Watch video here: Scientific American.

New York Times Features Innovative Research at CSI from The New York Times

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Drs. Zhou-Feng Chen and Lynn Cornelius, talk about chronic itch as an unmet need and the clinical implication of the discovery of an itch-specific receptor called GRPR. Read The New York Time article “Itching: more than deep-skin”.