Substance P activates Mas-related G protein–coupled receptors to induce itch

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Abstract

Background

Substance P (SP) is linked to itch and inflammation through activation of receptors on mast cells and sensory neurons. There is increasing evidence that SP functions through Mas-related G protein–coupled receptors (Mrgprs) in addition to its conventional receptor, neurokinin-1.

Objective

Because Mrgprs mediate some aspects of inflammation that had been considered mediated by neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R), we sought to determine whether itch induced by SP can also be mediated by Mrgprs.

Methods

Genetic and pharmacologic approaches were used to evaluate the contribution of Mrgprs to SP-induced scratching behavior and activation of cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons from mice.

Results

SP-induced scratching behavior and activation of cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons was dependent on Mrgprs rather than NK-1R.

Conclusion

We deduce that SP activates MrgprA1 on sensory neurons rather than NK-1R to induce itch.

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