Evaluation of antipruritic effects of several agents on scratching behavior by NC/Nga mice

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We investigated the effects of several agents on the established itching model in NC/Nga mice, model of atopic dermatitis-like disease, to elucidate related characteristics. The number of spontaneous scratching behaviors (the duration time is over 1.5 s) by NC/Nga mice with severe skin lesions was measured before and after administration of agents for 24 h. The scratching behavior by NC/Nga mice was significantly suppressed by administration of dexamethasone or tacrolimus, but not by chlorpheniramine maleate or cyproheptadine hydrochloride. These results suggest that this method shows a good correlation with the effectiveness of drugs prescribed for itching in humans with atopic dermatitis, and histamine and serotonin do not play an important role in causing the scratching behavior seen by NC/Nga mice. The scratching behavior was also significantly suppressed by naloxone hydrochloride, dibucaine or capsaicin. These results suggest that the scratching behavior seen in this model is caused by itching signal transmission through neural system. Furthermore, we found that theophylline, pinacidil or limaprost had scratching suppression effects in this model.

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