News Releases & Research Results Discovery of an essential substance that transmits atopic dermatitis-associated itch sensation to the brain: Towards development of novel treatments for itch sensation

News Releases & Research Results


This research was a collaborative effort among Processor Yoshinori Fukui and Assistant Professor Daiji Sakata of Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Professor Masutaka Furue of Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, and Associate professor Tsugunobu Andoh of Faculty of Medicine & Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama.

The key points of research results:

  • The research team demonstrated, for the first time, that a substance known as neurokinin B is required for interleukin 31 (IL-31), which is the primary mediator of itch sensation associated with atopic dermatitis, to transmit itch sensation to the brain.
  • They also demonstrated that inhibition of neurokinin 3 receptor* (NK3R) attenuates itch sensation mediated by IL-31.
    * Receptors are proteins that are expressed on the surface of cells and bind to extracellular substances to transmit signals inside the cells.

This research project was supported by Leading Advanced Projects for medical innovation (LEAP) program of AMED.

The results of research was published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, a American scientific journal, on August 9, 2019.


Sakata D., et al. Selective role of neurokinin B in IL-31–induced itch response in mice Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.06.031


Last updated 08/09/19