Tachykinins are neuropeptides largely conserved from the lowest invertebrates to man. Besides their role as neurotrasmitters in both central and peripheral nervous system, tachykinins and their receptors are expressed in a variety of non-neuronal cells: glial, smooth-muscle, epithelial, endothelial, glandular and immune cells, constituting an integrate process in the regulation of physiological function of all these cells. Therefore, tachykinins, being a part of the neuroendocrine system, create a complex network of communications between nervous system and other organ systems. The intent of this volume is to address major aspects that are presently on the forefront of research on the role played by tachykinins in brain and non brain organs, with the hope to give a complete view on the most relevant of the diversified biological responses in which tachykinins are involved. The volume is initiated with a general overview of history and significance of tachykinin in human and non-human physiology. After this, a review is dedicated to an update of tachykinin receptor antagonists with particular attention to preclinical and clinical studies. Next, the involvement of tachykinins, presenting data at molecular and cellular levels and focusing on diseases due to a dysfunction in tachykinin responses is reported separately for brain, lung/airways, immune system, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system. Finally, a glance on the relation between tachykinin system and human malignancies focused on the disparate effects exerted on several notrelated tumor types, is proposed. It is hoped that this endeavor will provide new insight giving impetus to the integrative resolution of the complex and intricate 'tachykinin world'. By such means, the rational development of new therapeutic approaches can be put on a firm and logical basis.
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases Istituto Superiore di Sanita Viale Regina Elena, 299 00161 Rome Italy.
Publication date: August 1, 2006
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Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.