Effects of scratching and other counterstimuli on responses of trigeminothalamic tract neurons to itch-inducing stimuli in rats

Brett Lipshetz, Glenn J. Giesler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Counterstimuli such as scratching, pinching, noxious heat and cold, and innocuous cooling and warming have been shown to inhibit itch in humans. In the present study, the effects of each of these counter-stimuli were determined on baseline firing rates and on sustained pruriceptive responses of rat trigeminothalamic tract neurons. We found that scratching had little, if any, effect on baseline firing levels but greatly reduced mean pruriceptive firing following scratching for nearly 1 min. None of the other noxious or innocuous counterstimuli significantly inhibited pruriceptive responses. Our results indicate that scratching, but not other counterstimuli, significantly reduces itch-induced responses of trigeminothalamic tract neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-529
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume115
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2015

Keywords

  • Itch
  • Pain
  • Pruriception
  • Scratching

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