10 July 2019
Vol 11, Issue 500

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Ditch the Itch. This image shows a person suffering from itchy skin. Chronic itch is an irritating sensation that can affect any part of the body and creates an urge to scratch. The neuropeptide NPPB promotes itch by activating natriuretic peptide receptor 1 (NPR1) in spinal cord neurons. To discover potential treatments for itch, Solinski et al. used high-throughput screening to identify NPR1 inhibitors. The small molecule JS-11 emerged as the top hit and was tested in mouse models of acute and chronic itch. Systemic JS-11 administration reduced scratching response without adverse effects, suggesting that targeting NPR1 might be effective for treating itch. [CREDIT: THARAKORN/ISTOCKPHOTO]