Cholestasis-Associated Pruritus and Its Pruritogens

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Pruritus is a debilitating symptom of various cholestatic disorders, including primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and inherited progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC). The molecular mechanisms leading to cholestasis-associated pruritus are still unresolved and the involved pruritogens are indecisive. As a consequence of pruritus, patients suffer from sleep deprivation, loss of daytime concentration, auto-mutilation and sometimes even suicidal ideations. Current guideline-approved therapy of cholestasis-associated pruritus includes stepwise administration of several medications, which may alleviate complaints in some, but not all affected patients. Therefore, also experimental therapeutic approaches are required to improve patients' quality of life. This article reviews the current state of research on pruritogens and their receptors, and shortly discusses the most recent experimental therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number639674
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2021


  • autotaxin
  • bile formation
  • cholestasis
  • cholestasis-associated pruritus
  • itch
  • pruritogen

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