Acta dermato-venereologica

Peripheral NMDA Receptor/NO System Blockage Inhibits Itch Responses Induced by Chloroquine in Mice.

PMID 28119997


Intradermal administration of chloroquine (CQ) provokes scratching behavior in mice. Chloroquine-induced itch is histamine-independent and we have reported that the nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway is involved in CQ-induced scratching behavior in mice. Previous studies have demonstrated that activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) induces NO production. Here we show that NMDAR antagonists significantly decrease CQ-induced scratching in mice while a non-effective dose of an NMDAR agonist potentiates the scratching behavior provoked by sub-effective doses of CQ. In contrast, combined pre-treatment with sub-effective doses of an NMDAR antagonist, MK-801, and the NO synthase inhibitor, L-N-nitro arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), decreases CQ-induced scrat-ching behavior. While intradermal administration of CQ significantly increases the concentration of intradermal nitrite, the end product of NO metabolism, effective doses of intraperitoneal and intradermal MK-801 significantly decrease intradermal nitrite levels. Likewise, administration of an effective dose of L-NAME significantly decreases CQ-induced nitrite production. We conclude that the NMDA/NO pathway in the skin modulates CQ-induced scratching behavior.