The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 18 No. 6 • October 2015


CAUSE OF CHRONIC ITCH IDENTIFIED CHRONICALLY HIGH PROSTAGLANDIN D2 LEVELS MAY BE INVOLVED AND SUGGEST POTENTIAL TREATMENTS

Lipocalin-2 was shown to be upregulated by astrocytic STAT 3 and to be crucial for chronic itch (Shiratori-Hayashi, 2015). In experiments in mice with atopic dermatitis, “...conditional disruption of astrocytic STAT 3 suppressed chronic itch, and pharmacological inhibition of spinal STAT 3 ameliorated the fully developed chronic itch.” As lipocalin-type prostaglandin D2 and prostaglandin E1 are isoprostanes involved with inflammation (acting either as a proinflammatory mediator or, if released in a pulse, as an antiinflammatory mediator), they may be involved in this process, Sandy hypothesizes. The researchers found that the reactive astrocytes might be maintained in lesioned skin (such as skin that has been scratched repeatedly) by TRPV1 receptors (the pain receptors that are activated by capsaicin, but can be desensitized by chronic activation by capsaicin). See discussion of TRPV1 receptors below, which indicate that pulsatile prostaglandin D2 is indeed involved in the process by which capsaicin can be used to reduce itching and pain.

  • Shiratori-Hayashi, Koga, et al. STAT3-dependent reactive astrogliosis in the spinal dorsal horn underlies chronic itch. Nat Med. 21(8):927-31 (2015).

NATURAL PRODUCT INHIBITORS OF STAT3

There are a number of them. Most likely, a combination will work better than just one if you want to suppress a nasty itch. They include curcumin, resveratrol, piceatannol (an analog of resveratrol), caffeic acid, capsaicin (possibly make it worse at first), betulinic acid, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, gamma tocotrienol, and many others (Miklossy, 2013)≥

  • Miklossy et al. Therapeutic modulators of STAT signalling for human diseases. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 12(8):611-29 (2013).

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