Itch mechanisms and circuits

Liang Han, Xinzhong Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The itch-scratch reflex serves as a protective mechanism in everyday life. However, chronic persistent itching can be devastating. Despite the clinical importance of the itch sensation, its mechanism remains elusive. In the past decade, substantial progress has been made to uncover the mystery of itching. Here, we review the molecules, cells, and circuits known to mediate the itch sensation, which, coupled with advances in understanding the pathophysiology of chronic itching conditions, will hopefully contribute to the development of new anti-itch therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-355
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Itch
  • Neural circuits
  • Neurons
  • Pain
  • Pruritus
  • Sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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