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Tachykinins in the Respiratory Tract

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Tachykinins as substance P and neurokinin A belong to a family of peptides, which are released from airway nerves after noxious stimulation. They influence numerous respiratory functions under both normal and pathological conditions including the regulation of airway smooth muscle tone, vascular tone, mucus secretion and immune functions. For the most part the synthesis/release of tachykinins is associated with neuronal cells; nevertheless, inflammatory and immune cells can synthesize and release tachykinins under certain physiological conditions. Moreover, this second cellular source of tachykinins may play an important role in inflammatory airway diseases such as bronchial asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dual tachykinin (NK1 and NK2) receptor antagonists demonstrate a significant bronchoprotection and a possible future role in the development of novel therapeutic approaches. In addition, NK3 receptors could also possess a bronchoprotective action, however, their presence in the human respiratory tract still needs to be confirmed. The family of tachykinins has recently been extended by the discovery of a third tachykinin gene that encodes the previously unknown NK1 receptor selective tachykinins hemokinin 1, endokinin A and B. Together with other novel tachykinin peptides such as C14TKL-1 and virokinin further research is required to define their respiratory biological role in health and disease.

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Keywords: Tachykinin; cytokine; mediator; neutrotrophin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Otto-Heubner-Centre, Pneumology and Immunology, Augustenburger Platz 1 OR-1, D-13353 Berlin,Germany.

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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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.
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