Identification and Characterization of Key Itch Mediators and Receptors in Human Pruritic Diseases

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Investigator: Martin Steinhoff, MD, PhD
Sponsor: LEO Foundation, The

Location(s): United States

Description

Itch is probably the most common symptom in dermatology and it is associated with a significant impact on the patient’s life. 

A team led by Professor Martin Steinhoff, University of California San Francisco, has set out to develop novel targeted therapies for chronic itch in humans. 

Besides the lesional and non-lesional as compared to healthy skin, the project team will also identify critical itch mediators and/or receptors that are expressed (and activated) in human dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord tissue. To address this, mediators will be identified as well as receptors associated with human itch, and thereby the team will be able to define “biomarkers” for the different pruritic human diseases.

The project will be the first-of-a-kind study to analyse the expression and distribution of key itch mediators and receptors in human skin, human DRG and human spinal cord, and will therefore provide a significant basis for future translational research that targets these mediators/receptors in the different subtypes of itch.

Moreover, it is the first time that it will be tested whether several new itch pathways that have been described in murine skin models are relevant, i.e. can be translated, in human disease state.