Author(s): WilliamsFritze MJ
Murine ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is a common progressive condition of mice with a C57BL/6 background. Typically, mice present with scabs and crusts on the skin of the dorsal neck and ears, and are often severely pruritic. Animals tend to scratch the lesions, causing additional trauma to the already ulcerated and inflamed skin. Therapeutic intervention largely has been unsuccessful, in part due to the lack of a known cause for the disease. Though the exact etiology of UD has not been elucidated, substance P (SP) has recently been demonstrated as an important neuropeptide linked to the itch-scratch cycle. SP functions at the tachykinin neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor. We hypothesized that inhibition of SP binding to the NK1 receptor would decrease the itch sensation, thus decreasing scratching behavior and subsequent skin trauma. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an NK1 receptor antagonist, maropitant citrate, as a treatment for murine UD. Treatment with 1 mg/kg maropitant citrate significantly reduced the size of UD lesions in mice.