Over the past decade, the research field dealing with the role of a new family of Rhodopsin A-like G protein-coupled receptors, that is, the family of Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors (Mrgprs) has expanded enormously. A plethora of recent studies have provided evidence that Mrgprs are key players in itch and pain, as well as in the initiation and modulation of inflammatory/allergic responses in the skin. Over the years, it has become clear that this role is not limited to the skin, but extends to other mucosal surfaces such as the respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In the GI tract, Mrgprs have emerged as novel interoceptive sensory pathways linked to health and disease, and are in close functional association with the gut's immune system. This review aims to provide an update of our current knowledge on the expression, distribution and function of members of this Mrgpr family in intrinsic and extrinsic neuro-immune pathways related to the GI system.
Keywords: Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors; gastrointestinal tract; neuro-immune interaction; sensory innervation; visceral hypersensitivity.
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