Synaptic-like connections may mediate sensory communication between keratinocytes and neurons

Takeaway

  • A greater understanding of the emerging sensory role of keratinocytes may help to shed new light on the pathophysiology of pain and itch as well as physiology of touch.

Why this matters

  • The perception of temperature, pain and itch as well as pleasurable touch are conventionally thought to be initiated by intraepidermal fine nerve endings (FNE) with keratinocytes thought to provide physical support to the FNE.

  • Emerging evidence suggest that keratinocytes may also be involved in sensory transduction.