Allergen-induced histaminergic and non-histaminergic activation of itch C-fiber nerve terminals in mouse skin

Danica Jurcakova, Fei Ru, Bradley J. Undem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Acute cutaneous exposure to allergen often leads to itch, but seldom pain. The effect of mast cell activation on cutaneous C-fibers was studied using innervated isolated mouse skin preparation that allows for intra-arterial delivery of chemicals to the nerve terminals in the skin. Allergen (ovalbumin) injection into the isolated skin of actively sensitized mice strongly stimulated chloroquine (CQ)-sensitive C-fibers (also referred to as “itch” nerves); on the other hand, CQ-insensitive C-fibers were activated only modestly, if at all. The histamine H1 receptor antagonist pyrilamine abolished itch C-fibers response to histamine, but failed to significantly reduce the response to ovalbumin. Ovalbumin also strongly activated itch C-fibers in skin isolated from Mrgpr-cluster Δ −/− mice. When pyrilamine was studied in the Mrgpr-cluster Δ −/− mice thereby eliminating the influence of both histamine H1 and Mrgpr receptors (MrgprA3 and C11 are selectively expressed by itch nerves), the ovalbumin response was very nearly eliminated. The data indicate that the acute activation of itch C-fibers in mouse skin is largely secondary to the combined effect of activation of histamine H1 and Mrpgr receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-58
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Mrgpr
  • allergy
  • histamine
  • itch
  • mast cells
  • sensory neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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