[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, using a special diet-induced mouse model of atopic dermatitis, we tested the effect of chitosan-containing lotion (CL) on itch-related scratching associated with barrier-disrupted dry skin. HR-1 hairless mice fed a special diet exhibited apparent dry skin symptoms characterized by decreased skin hydration and increased transepidermal water loss. In the special diet-fed mice, scratching behavior was markedly enhanced for 60 min after oral administration of ethanol. When CL was applied once immediately after ethanol administration, the enhanced scratching response was significantly suppressed, but this effect was abolished within 30-40 min; when applied twice immediately and at 30 min, CL almost completely blocked scratching throughout 60 min. Comparison of CL and the chitosan-free vehicle showed that CL inhibited scratching more strongly and persistently than the vehicle, which transiently suppressed scratching only for 10 min after application. Although the decreased skin hydration was improved even by the vehicle, the increased transepidermal water loss was resolved only by CL. Skin surface temperature was much more reduced in CL-treated mice than in vehicle-treated mice. Collectively, CL has an antipruritic effect, which could be partly explained by recovery of skin barrier function and cooling of the skin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In patients with atopic dermatitis, alcoholic beverages can sometimes trigger or enhance itching. We have previously reported that HR-1 hairless mice fed a commercial special diet, HR-AD, but not a normal diet, develop atopic dermatitis-like skin inflammation with prolonged spontaneous scratching, and that skin barrier dysfunction is involved in the basal scratching. In the present study, the effects of ethanol on itch-related scratching were examined in this mouse model. When ethanol (30%, 10 ml/kg) was given orally to HR-AD-fed mice, scratching with long duration was further markedly increased, while oral ethanol administration had little effect on the scratching response in normal diet-fed mice. The scratching response after oral ethanol administration in HR-AD-fed mice (ethanol-induced scratching) was attenuated by antagonism of the mu-opioid receptor or local skin anesthesia, as in human itching. Ethanol-induced scratching was also suppressed by improvement of skin barrier function by an application of petrolatum ointment, while ethanol administration itself did not affect the function. This suggests that ethanol indirectly aggravates the basal scratching. Although antagonism of the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 did not affect ethanol-induced scratching, blockade of ethanol actions in the central nervous system (CNS), including gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor antagonism and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activation, inhibited it. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that orally administered ethanol markedly aggravates itch-related scratching in HR-AD-fed mice developing atopic dermatitis, and suggests that the CNS depressant actions of ethanol play an important role in the aggravation.
European journal of pharmacology 04/2009; 611(1-3):92-9. · 2.59 Impact Factor