Chronic Itch of Unknown Origin Is Associated With an Enhanced Th2 Skin Immune Profile

Carina Dehner, Lu Chen, Brian Kim, Ilana S. Rosman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Chronic pruritus of unknown origin (CPUO) is described as chronic itch lasting longer than 6 weeks in the absence of a defined skin rash and any known causative disease process. A retrospective study was performed on biopsy samples from patients with CPUO and normal controls to compare the immune profiles of these patients with healthy individuals. We used dual CD3/T-bet and CD3/GATA3 immunohistochemical staining to assess for T-cells expressing Th1 versus Th2 transcription factors, respectively. Our data showed that CD3+ cells of patients with CPUO co-express significantly more GATA3 compared with normal controls. Meanwhile, the normal control skin showed a much more balanced T-bet/GATA3 ratio of co-expression. Our data suggest an enrichment of Th2 cells in CPUO skin by T cell/GATA3 co-staining, supporting that CPUO is increasingly considered a type 2/Th2 cell-associated disease. We thus speculate that type 2 cytokine blockade-based therapies may represent effective treatments for CPUO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-775
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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