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Tachykinins in the Immune System

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Until recently, the mammalian tachykinins included substance P, neurokinin A and neurokinin B. Following the discovery of the fourth member of this family, hemokinin 1, a diverse group of novel tachykinins and tachykinin gene-related peptides have been identified in mammals. These newly identified members are preferentially expressed in peripheral tissues. Currently, the impact of these new tachykinin peptides on the immune system remains unclear. Some data imply an important role for hemokinin 1 in the generation of lymphocytes. Tachykinins are traditionally viewed as neuropeptides with well-defined functions as neurotransmitters. Many studies however, indicate that they may also be produced by non-neuronal cells, and exert profound influence on inflammatory responses by affecting multiple aspects of immune cell function. It is of great importance to determine whether the new tachykinin peptides have similar effects. A more detailed understanding of the interactions between tachykinins and immune cells may provide the basis for the development of new therapies for inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases.

Keywords: Endokinin; Hematopoiesis; Hemokinin 1; Immune cells; Lymphopoiesis; Substance P; Tachykinin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Immunology, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing 100083, The People's Republic of China.

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.

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