A new study from Dr. Zhou-Feng Chen's laboratory shows that the BNP-NPRA signaling does not function upstream of the GRP-GRPR pathway. A NIH team recently proposed that B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) but not GRP functions in pruriceptors, and BNP-NPRA acts upstream of the GRP-GRPR signaling pathway dedicated to itch (Reports, Science, May 24, 2013).  Chen's team provides comprehensive evidence supporting the notion that GRP is indeed an itch-specific peptide in pruriceptors. By contrast, BNP protein appears to be expressed in glial cells and its action in sensory neurons expressing NPRA, the receptor for BNP, appears to be inhibitory.  For details, please see: B-type natriuretic peptide is neither itch-specific nor functions upstream of the GRP-GRPR signaling pathway

 Zhou-Feng Chen  Chen Lab