Center for the Study of Itch

The Center for the Study of Itch seeks to understand the fundamental underlying mechanisms of itch and translate these findings into treatments for patients suffering from intractable itch.

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Center for the Study of Itch

The Center for the Study of Itch seeks to understand the fundamental underlying mechanisms of itch and translate these findings into treatments for patients suffering from intractable itch.

Learn more 


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CSI News

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, ScienceLive Science, UPI, Science Alert, PainWeek, people.cn.

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New clues point to relief for chronic itching

Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen's team reveals why agonists targeting kappa opioid receptor can be used to treat chronic itch. Read news here.

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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.

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Why itch is contagious?

Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen's team discovers why mice scratch in response to other mice scratching. Read news RecordSt.Louis Public RadioIndependent, NBC, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Hoffington Post, SmithsonianExpress, livescience, Inverse, Cell, 知识分子. Watch video here: Scientific American.

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New York Times Features Innovative Research at CSI

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".

 

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Recent Publications

Piezo2 channel-Merkel cell signaling modulates the conversion of touch to itch.

Feng J, Luo J, Yang P, Du J, Kim BS, Hu HScience. 2018 May 4;360(6388):530-533. PMID: 29724954.

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Non-canonical Opioid Signaling Inhibits Itch Transmission in the Spinal Cord of Mice.

Munanairi A, Liu XY, Barry DM, Yang Q, Yin JB, Jin H, Li H, Meng QT, Peng JH, Wu ZY, Yin J, Zhou XY, Wan L, Mo P, Kim S, Huo FQ, Jeffry J, Li YQ, Bardoni R, Bruchas MR, Chen ZF. Cell Report. 2018 Apr 17;23(3):866-877. PMID: 29669290

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Distinct roles of NMB and GRP in itch transmission.

Wan L, Jin H, Liu XY, Jeffry J, Barry DM, Shen KF, Peng JH, Liu XT, Jin JH, Sun Y, Kim R, Meng QT, Mo P, Yin J, Tao A, Bardoni R, Chen ZF. Distinct roles of NMB and GRP in itch transmission. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 13;7(1):15466. PMID: 29133874

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Sensory TRP channels contribute differentially to skin inflammation and persistent itch.

Feng J, Yang P, Mack MR, Dryn D, Luo J, Gong X, Liu S, Oetjen LK, Zholos AV, Mei Z, Yin S, Kim BS, Hu H. Sensory TRP channels contribute differentially to skin inflammation and persistent itch. Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 30;8(1):980. PMID: 29081531. PMCID: PMC5661746. 

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Sensory Neurons Co-opt Classical Immune Signaling Pathways to Mediate Chronic Itch.

Oetjen LK, Mack MR, Feng J, Whelan TM, Niu H, Guo CJ, Chen S, Trier AM, Xu AZ, Tripathi SV, Luo J, Gao X, Yang L, Hamilton SL, Wang PL, Brestoff JR, Council ML, Brasington R, Schaffer A, Brombacher F, Hsieh CS, Gereau RW 4th, Miller MJ, Chen ZF, Hu H, Davidson S, Liu Q, Kim BSCell. 2017 Sep 21;171(1):217-228.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.006. Epub 2017 Sep 7. PMID: 28890086

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Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4-expressing macrophages and keratinocytes contribute differentially to allergic and nonallergic chronic itch.

Luo J, Feng J, Yu G, Yang P, Mack MR, Du J, Yu W, Qian A, Zhang Y, Liu S, Yin S, Xu A, Cheng J, Liu Q, O'Neil RG, Xia Y, Ma L, Carlton SM, Kim BS, Renner K, Liu Q, Hu H. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4-expressing macrophages and keratinocytes contribute differentially to allergic and nonallergic chronic itch.  J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017  Aug 5. pii: S0091-6749(17)31098-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.05.051. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:28807414

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Molecular and neural basis of contagious itch behavior in mice.

Yu YQ*, Barry DM*, Hao Y*, Liu XT, Chen ZF. Molecular and neural basis of contagious itch behavior in mice. Science. 2017 Mar 10;355(6329):1072-1076. PMID: 28280205. (*These authors contributed equally to this work.)

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