MrgprC11+ sensory neurons mediate glabrous skin itch

Haley R. Steele, Yanyan Xing, Yuyan Zhu, Henry B. Hilley, Katy Lawson, Yeseul Nho, Taylor Niehoff, Liang Han

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Itch arising from glabrous skin (palms and soles) has attracted limited attention within the field due to the lack of methodology. This is despite glabrous itch arising from many medical conditions such as plantar and palmar psoriasis, dyshidrosis, and cholestasis. Therefore, we developed a mouse glabrous skin behavioral assay to investigate the contribution of three previously identified pruriceptive neurons in glabrous skin itch. Our results show that MrgprA3+ and MrgprD+ neurons, although key mediators for hairy skin itch, do not play important roles in glabrous skin itch, demonstrating a mechanistic difference in itch sensation between hairy and glabrous skin. We found that MrgprC11+ neurons are the major mediators for glabrous skin itch. Activation of MrgprC11+ neurons induced glabrous skin itch, while ablation of MrgprC11+ neurons reduced both acute and chronic glabrous skin itch. Our study provides insights into the mechanisms of itch and opens up new avenues for future glabrous skin itch research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022874118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Glabrous skin
  • Itch
  • Mrgprs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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