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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Scientists have found the molecule responsible for the emergence of local itching


The staff of the Medical center at Duke University (USA) described the molecular process of the emergence of local itching, which may occur after insect bites or contact with skin cosmetics and household chemicals. On the basis of the knowledge already held the first successful tests of a drug directed against molecules found. The results were published in the latest issue of Journal of Biological Chemistry.

In 2013, the same research group discovered the main culprit for pain after UV-radiation — ion channel TRPV4. When embarking on a new study, scientists have wondered whether TRPV4 participates in the emergence of itching. In the latest experiments, the scientists took mice with a reduced amount of TRPV4 in the skin cells, and then subjected the animals to chemicals that cause itching. It was observed that even in case of direct contact of chemicals on the skin of the mouse became less itchy.

Then the researchers concluded that TRPV4 in the upper layer of the skin passes through the cell membrane, ions the cells of irritating substances, and, therefore, drugs should be directed against this ion channel. In the next phase of research dermatologists have found that in addition to TRPV4 in the occurrence of itching involved the pERC enzyme (protein of increasing interest among signal-regulated kinase). First test drugs that block работуTRPV4 and pERC, completely rescued mice from itching. However, before use a TRPV4— and pERC-blockers for the treatment of humans, tools must still undergo clinical testing, as disabling these enzymes that exist not only in the skin cells, can give side effects.

Further research will be focused on identifying reasons for different duration of itching. Different susceptibility of people to itch also puts the researchers in front of the question whether TRPV4 is involved.

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