Although the medical definition of itch has been in existence for 360 years, only in the last 20 years have we begun to understand the basic mechanisms that underlie this unique sensation. Therapeutics that specifically target chronic itch as a pathologic entity are currently still not available. Recent seminal advances in itch circuitry within the nervous system have intersected with discoveries in immunology in unexpected ways to rapidly inform emerging treatment strategies. The current review aims to introduce these basic concepts in itch biology and highlight how distinct immunologic pathways integrate with recently identified itch-sensory circuits in the nervous system to inform a major new paradigm of neuroimmunology and therapeutic development for chronic itch.
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