Role of neuropeptides in dermatology
Sánchez-Carpintero I, España-Alonso A.
Departamento de Dermatología, Clínica Universitaria, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, España.
Neuropeptides (NP) are a heterogeneous group of proteins functioning as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and neurohormones.
More than fifty of these molecules have been described, and some have been detected in human skin through immunochemistry and radioimmunoassay. In this article we attempt to study the role played by some of these substances such as substance P (SP), calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), somatostatin (S), and neurotensin (N). Several NP induce inflammatory response with edema and erythema. They can also induce the release of histamine by mastocytes, regulate cutaneous blood flow, and participate in sweat regulation and nociception. They also exert their action over several cells that participate in immunity, acting as mitotic, and chemotactic factors, inhibiting or stimulating inflammatory mechanisms.
Specific NP have their receptors on epidermal cells. We will also try to study certain diseases in which NP play an important role in inducing or alleviating lesions, such as psoriasis, atopic eczema, alopecia areata, vitiligo, nodular prurigo, aquagenic pruritus, hypertrophic scars and other entities.
CITATION Rev Neurol. 1997 Sep;25 Suppl 3:S222-31