Role of kappa-opioid and mu-opioid receptors in pruritus: Peripheral and central itch circuits

Brian S. Kim, Saadet Inan, Sonja Ständer, Thomas Sciascia, Jacek C. Szepietowski, Gil Yosipovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Modern genetic approaches in animal models have unveiled novel itch-specific neural pathways, emboldening a paradigm in which drugs can be developed to selectively and potently target itch in a variety of chronic pruritic conditions. In recent years, kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) and mu-opioid receptors (MORs) have been implicated in both the suppression and promotion of itch, respectively, by acting on both the peripheral and central nervous systems. The precise mechanisms by which agents that modulate these pathways alleviate itch remains an active area of investigation. Notwithstanding this, a number of agents have demonstrated efficacy in clinical trials that influence both KOR and MOR signalling. Herein, we summarize a number of opioid receptor modulators in development and their promising efficacy across a number of chronic pruritic conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, uremic pruritus and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1900-1907
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Volume31
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • afferent
  • atopic
  • dermatitis
  • dynorphins
  • histamine
  • neurons
  • opioid
  • receptors
  • spinal cord

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