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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 64727, 6 pages
Review Article

Mediators of Pruritus in Psoriasis

1Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University, Ul. T. Chalubinskiego 1, Wroclaw 50-368, Poland
2Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Science, Rudolfa Weigla 12, Wroclaw 53-114, Poland

Received 22 October 2007; Accepted 24 November 2007

Copyright © 2007 Adam Reich and Jacek C. Szepietowski. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The pathogenesis of pruritus in psoriasis remains unclear. Many possible mediators were implicated to transmit or modulate this sensation in psoriasis, but none has been clearly proven to be a causative agent of itching. The most often discussed theory mentioned the importance of impaired innervations and neuropeptides imbalance in psoriatic skin. Other possible causes of itching might be increased expression of interleukin 2 or vascular abnormalities. Recent data indicated that pruritus could be also evoked by opioid system, prostanoids, interleukin 31, serotonin, or proteases. Whether these mechanisms are also involved in pruritus accompanying psoriasis requires further investigation. Limited knowledge of pruritus origin in psoriasis is responsible for the lack of the effective antipruritic treatments for psoriatics. Here, we summarize the current knowledge about the pathogenesis of pruritus in psoriasis and point out possible directions of future studies aiming the pathogenesis of this symptom in psoriasis.