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Open Access Short report

Galanin-expression and galanin-dependent sensory neurons are not required for itch

Fiona E Holmes, Penny Vanderplank and David Wynick*

Author Affiliations

Schools of Physiology and Pharmacology and Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TD, United Kingdom

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Molecular Pain 2012, 8:87  doi:10.1186/1744-8069-8-87

Published: 5 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Galanin is a key modulator of nociception, and it is also required for the developmental survival of a subset of C-fibre sensory neurons which are critical to the mediation of neuropathic and inflammatory pain. However, the potential modulatory roles played by galanin, or the galanin-dependent neurons, in pruritoceptive mechanisms underlying the sensation of itch have not been investigated.

Findings

Here we report that mice carrying a loss-of-function mutation in the galanin gene (Gal-KO) show no differences in spontaneous behavioural itch responses compared to wild-type (WT) controls. Similarly, the responses to a range of pruritogens are not significantly different between the two genotypes.

Conclusions

These results suggest that neither galanin expression, nor the galanin-dependent subpopulation of sensory neurons is required for itch-related behaviours.

Keywords:
Itch; Galanin; Pain