Although sunburn can produce severe uncontrollable itching, the underlying mechanisms of UV irradiation‒induced itch are poorly understood because of a lack of experimental animal models of sunburn itch. In this study, we established a sunburn-related mouse model and found that broad-band UVB irradiation elicited scratching but not wiping behavior in mice. Using a combination of live-cell calcium ion imaging and quantitative RT-PCR on dorsal root ganglion neurons, H&E staining, immunofluorescence staining of skin preparations, and behavioral testing, in combination with genetic and pharmacological approaches, we showed that TRPV1-positive dorsal root ganglion neurons but not mast cells are involved in broad-band UVB irradiation‒induced itch. Moreover, both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of TRPV1 function significantly alleviated the broad-band UVB irradiation‒induced itch response. Collectively, our results suggest that broad-band UVB irradiation evokes itch sensation in mice by promoting TRPV1 channel function in dorsal root ganglion neurons and provide potential therapeutic targets for sunburn-related itch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2499-2508.e3
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


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