3 years ago

Keratinocytes mediate innocuous and noxious touch via ATP-P2X4 signaling

Anthony D Menzel, Cheryl L Stucky, Francie Moehring, Andy D Weyer, Thiago Arzua, Michael Grzybowski, Aron M Geurts, Oleg Palygin, Ashley M Cowie
The first point of our body's contact with tactile stimuli (innocuous and noxious) is the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin that is largely composed of keratinocytes. Here, we sought to define the role that keratinocytes play in touch sensation in vivo and ex vivo. We show that optogenetic inhibition of keratinocytes decreases behavioral and cellular mechanosensitivity. These processes are inherently mediated by ATP signaling, as demonstrated by complementary cutaneous ATP release and degradation experiments. Specific deletion of P2X4 receptors in sensory neurons markedly decreases behavioral and primary afferent mechanical sensitivity, thus positioning keratinocyte-released ATP to sensory neuron P2X4 signaling as a critical component of baseline mammalian tactile sensation. These experiments lay a vital foundation for subsequent studies into the dysfunctional signaling that occurs in cutaneous pain and itch disorders, and ultimately, the development of novel topical therapeutics for these conditions.

Publisher URL: https://elifesciences.org/articles/31684

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.31684

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