A subpopulation of amygdala neurons mediates the affective component of itch

Kristen M. Sanders, Kent Sakai, Tyler D. Henry, Takashi Hashimoto, Tasuku Akiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Itch consists of both sensory and affective components. For chronic itch patients, the affective component of itch affects both quality of life (leading to psychological comorbidities) and disease prognosis (by promoting scratching of itchy skin). We found that acute itch stimuli, such as histamine, induced anxiety-like behavior and increased activity (c-Fos expression) in the amygdala in adult male C57BL/6 mice. Itch stimuli also increased activity in projection areas to the amygdala, suggesting that these regions form a circuit for affective itch processing. Electrophysiological characterization of histamine-responsive amygdala neurons showed that this population was active on a behaviorally relevant timescale and partially overlapped with pain signaling. Selective optogenetic activation of histamine-responsive amygdala neurons in adult male and female Fos:CreER T2 ;R26 Ai14 mice using the Targeted Recombination in Active Populations system enhanced both scratching and anxiety-like behavior. These results highlight the importance of itch-responsive amygdala neurons in modulating itch-related affect and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3345-3356
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume39
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 24 2019

Fingerprint

Amygdala
Neurons
Histamine
Anxiety
Optogenetics
Inbred C57BL Mouse
Genetic Recombination
Population
Comorbidity
Quality of Life
Psychology
Pain
Skin

Keywords

  • Itch
  • Mouse
  • Optogenetics
  • Pruritus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

A subpopulation of amygdala neurons mediates the affective component of itch. / Sanders, Kristen M.; Sakai, Kent; Henry, Tyler D.; Hashimoto, Takashi; Akiyama, Tasuku.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 39, No. 17, 24.04.2019, p. 3345-3356.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sanders, Kristen M. ; Sakai, Kent ; Henry, Tyler D. ; Hashimoto, Takashi ; Akiyama, Tasuku. / A subpopulation of amygdala neurons mediates the affective component of itch. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2019 ; Vol. 39, No. 17. pp. 3345-3356.
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