Bing Wang,Hongxia Wu,Hansong Qi,Hanglin Li,Li Pan,Lianfeng Li,Kehui Zhang,Mengqi Yuan,Yimin Wang,Hua-Ji Qiu,Yuan Sun
Viruses.2022 May 17;14(5):1067.doi: 10.3390/v14051067.
Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is the causative agent of pseudorabies (PR). It can infect a wide range of mammals. PRV infection can cause severe acute neuropathy (the so-called "mad itch") in nonnatural hosts. PRV can infect the peripheral nervous system (PNS), where it can establish a quiescent, latent infection. The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) contains the cell bodies of the spinal sensory neurons, which can transmit peripheral sensory signals, including itch and somatic pain. Little attention has been paid to the underlying mechanism of the itch caused by PRV in nonnatural hosts. In this study, a mouse model of the itch caused by PRV was elaborated. BALB/c mice were infected intramuscularly with 105 TCID50 of PRV TJ. The frequency of the bite bouts and the durations of itch were recorded and quantified. The results showed that the PRV-infected mice developed spontaneous itch at 32 h postinfection (hpi). The frequency of the bite bouts and the durations of itch were increased over time. The mRNA expression levels of the receptors and the potential cation channels that are relevant to the itch-signal transmission in the DRG neurons were quantified. The mRNA expression levels of tachykinin 1 (TAC1), interleukin 2 (IL-2), IL-31, tryptases, tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1), and histidine decarboxylase (HDC) were also measured by high-throughput RNA sequencing and real-time reverse transcription PCR. The results showed that the mean mRNA level of the HDC in the DRG neurons isolated from the PRV-infected mice was approximately 25-fold higher than that of the controls at 56 hpi. An immunohistochemistry (IHC) was strongly positive for HDC in the DRG neurons of the PRV-infected mice, which led to the high expression of histamine at the injected sites. The itch of the infected mice was inhibited by chlorphenamine hydrogen maleate (an antagonist for the histamine H1 receptor) in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA and protein levels of the HDC in the DRG neurons were proportional to the severity of the itch induced by different PRV strains. Taken together, the histamine synthesized by the HDC in the DRG neurons was responsible for the PRV-induced itch in the mice.
Keywords: dorsal root ganglion; histamine; itch; mouse; pseudorabies virus.