Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
KALIL-GASPAR, Pedro. Neuropeptides in the skin. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2003, vol.78, n.4, pp. 483-498. ISSN 1806-4841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962003000400010.
There is increasing evidence that cutaneous nerve fibers play a modulatory role in a variety of acute and chronic skin processes. Local interactions between skin cells, skin immune components and neuronal tissues occur specially through neuropeptides, a large family of chemically-related neurotransmitters exhibiting a heterogeneous nomenclature. Neuropeptides are ubiquitous in central and peripheral nervous systems, being directly released in skin by cutaneous nerve fibers. This review is focused on the actions of substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), vasointestinal peptide (VIP), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and somatostatin (SOM). Neuropeptide-related functions on skin and immune cells are also discussed, as well as recent findings implicating nerve fibers in cutaneous inflammatory responses, hypersensitivity reactions and dermatoses, namely psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, leprosy and alopecia.
Keywords : alopecia; dermatitis [atopic]; nerve growth factors; leprosy; hypersensitivity; neuropeptides; skin; psoriasis.