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S1PR3 mediates itch and pain via distinct TRP channel-dependent pathways.

J Neurosci. 2018 Aug 06;:

Authors: Hill RZ, Morita T, Brem RB, Bautista DM

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive signaling lipid associated with a variety of chronic pain and itch disorders. S1P signaling has been linked to cutaneous pain, but its role in itch has not yet been studied. Here we find that S1P triggers itch and pain in male mice in a concentration-dependent manner, with low levels triggering acute itch alone, and high levels triggering both pain and itch. Calcium imaging and electrophysiological experiments revealed that S1P signals via S1PR3 and TRPA1 in a subset of pruriceptors, and via S1PR3 and TRPV1 in a subset of heat nociceptors. In line with these findings, S1P-evoked itch behaviors are selectively lost in mice lacking TRPA1, whereas S1P-evoked acute pain and heat hypersensitivity are selectively lost in mice lacking TRPV1. We conclude that S1P acts via different cellular and molecular mechanisms to trigger itch and pain. Our discovery elucidates the diverse roles that S1P signaling plays in somatosensation and provides insight into how itch and pain are discriminated in the periphery.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTItch and pain are major health problems with few effective treatments. Here, we show that the pro-inflammatory lipid S1P and its receptor S1PR3 trigger itch and pain behaviors via distinct molecular and cellular mechanisms. Our results provide a detailed understanding of the roles that S1P and S1PR3 play in somatosensation, highlighting their potential as targets for analgesics and antipruritics, and provide new insight into the mechanistic underpinnings of itch versus pain discrimination in the periphery.

PMID: 30082422 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]