Role of opioid receptors in transmission of itch by spinothalamic tract neuron

Summary

Principal Investigator: HANNAH ROSE MOSER
Abstract: PROJECT SUMMARY The use of morphine and other opioids to treat pain commonly results in severe itch. The endogenous opioid system has been implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of several forms of chronic itch. Clinical and experimental evidence suggest that opioid receptors in the central, rather than peripheral, nervous system play a role in mediating the itch sensation. In the primate nervous system, the spinothalamic tract (STT) plays a critical role in relaying itch information in the spinal cord. The long-term goal of this project is to understand the role of opioids in mediating the itch sensation in the central nervous system. The current aims are to determine whether activation of [unreadable]mu[unreadable]-opioid receptors (MORs) or k-opioid receptors (KORs) in the spinal cord affects the response properties of STT neurons which carry itch information. This project will test the hypothesis that MOR agonists which cause itch excite STT neurons which carry itch information, while KOR agonists which have been used to treat itch inhibit these same neurons. The experiments are designed test the effects of opioids and opioid receptor antagonists on responses of antidromically identified, physiologically characterized STT neurons in anesthetized monkeys using iontophoresis and bath application techniques. The proposed experiments have the potential to pave the way for development of more specific treatments for both pain and itch by elucidating the specific receptor subtypes involved in each in primates.
Funding Period: 2011-12-01 - 2013-10-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Itch and analgesia resulting from intrathecal application of morphine: contrasting effects on different populations of trigeminothalamic tract neurons
    Hannah R Moser
    Graduate Program in Neuroscience and Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455, USA
    J Neurosci 33:6093-101. 2013
  2. pmc Characterization of pruriceptive trigeminothalamic tract neurons in rats
    Hannah R Moser
    Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    J Neurophysiol 111:1574-89. 2014

Research Grants

  1. Mechanims of CNS Autonomic Regulation by EA
    John C Longhurst; Fiscal Year: 2013
  2. Endogenous Cannabinoids and Brain Function
    Aron H Lichtman; Fiscal Year: 2013

Detail Information

Publications2

  1. pmc Itch and analgesia resulting from intrathecal application of morphine: contrasting effects on different populations of trigeminothalamic tract neurons
    Hannah R Moser
    Graduate Program in Neuroscience and Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455, USA
    J Neurosci 33:6093-101. 2013
    ..These results reveal that i.t. application of morphine affects specific subpopulations of VTT neurons in ways that may produce itch, hyperknesis, alloknesis, and analgesia...
  2. pmc Characterization of pruriceptive trigeminothalamic tract neurons in rats
    Hannah R Moser
    Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    J Neurophysiol 111:1574-89. 2014
    ..These results indicate that pruriceptive VTT neurons are a subset of polymodal nociceptive VTT neurons and characterize a system conducive to future experiments regarding the similarities and differences between facial itch and pain. ..

Research Grants30

  1. Mechanims of CNS Autonomic Regulation by EA
    John C Longhurst; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..The current application will provide important new information on both efficacy and mechanism of action in acupuncture treatment of either elevated or low blood pressure. ..
  2. Endogenous Cannabinoids and Brain Function
    Aron H Lichtman; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..Ultimately, the knowledge gained from this basic research will yield novel therapeutic targets that can be exploited with the pharmacological agents developed here. PROGRAM CHARACTERISTICS ..