Dr Kohout's Plastic Surgery Blog

Blocking Nerve Cells May Be Key To Controlling Eczema

Mark Kohout - Monday, November 04, 2013

Inhibiting nerve cells may be the key to controlling eczema, according to

Around 10% of people suffers from eczema at some stage in their life, with the cause still unknown. Current research focuses on the immune system and how its reaction to chemicals can cause inflammation and itchiness.

However, UC Berkeley eczema neuroscientists have found that nerve cells are the first to react to these chemicals and so controlling these cells may help stop the symptoms of eczema.

The researchers have developed a drug that is in the early stages of clinical trial. The drug stops mice from scratching when it is applied to affected areas.

Immunologists discovered some years ago that a cytokine known as TSLP causes itch when produced in the skin. The neurons contain receptors for TSLP and respond by inflaming when interacting with it.

Drug developers are now focusing on how to block the neuronal receptor to block the uptake of TSLP.

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