Cerebral Networks Linked to Itch-related Sensations Induced by Histamine and Capsaicin

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Vierow V, Forster C, Vogelgsang R, Dörfler A, Handwerker HO
Journal: Acta Dermato-Venereologica
Publication year: 2015
Volume: 95
Journal issue: 6
Pages range: 645-52
ISSN: 0001-5555
eISSN: 1651-2057


This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study explored the central nervous processing of itch induced by histamine and capsaicin, delivered via inactivated cowhage spicules, and the influence of low-dose naltrexone. Scratch bouts were delivered at regular intervals after spicule insertion in order temporarily to suppress the itch. At the end of each trial the subjects rated their itch and scratch-related sensations. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were employed for identifying cerebral networks contributing to the intensities of "itching", "burning", "stinging", "pricking" and "itch relief by scratching". In the capsaicin experiments a network for "burning" was identified, which included the posterior insula, caudate and putamen. In the histamine experiments networks for "itching" and "itch relief" were found, which included operculum, hippocampus and amygdala. Naltrexone generally reduced fMRI activation and the correlations between fMRI signal and ratings. Furthermore, scratching was significantly less pleasant under naltrexone.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Dörfler, Arnd Prof. Dr.
Neuroradiologische Abteilung im Radiologischen Institut
Forster, Clemens apl. Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Physiologie
Handwerker, Hermann Otto Prof. Dr.
Medizinische Fakultät
Vierow, Verena Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Physiologie
Vogelgsang, Rebekka
Lehrstuhl für Physiologie

How to cite

Vierow, V., Forster, C., Vogelgsang, R., Dörfler, A., & Handwerker, H.O. (2015). Cerebral Networks Linked to Itch-related Sensations Induced by Histamine and Capsaicin. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 95(6), 645-52. https://dx.doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2006

Vierow, Verena, et al. "Cerebral Networks Linked to Itch-related Sensations Induced by Histamine and Capsaicin." Acta Dermato-Venereologica 95.6 (2015): 645-52.


Last updated on 2018-08-10 at 08:25