Neuroendocrinology of the skin: An overview and selective analysis

Dermatoendocrinol. 2011 Jan;3(1):3-10. doi: 10.4161/derm.3.1.14617.


The concept on the skin neuro-endocrine has been formulated ten years ago, and recent advances in the field further strengthened this role. Thus, skin forms a bidirectional platform for a signal exchange with other peripheral organs, endocrine and immune systems or brain to enable rapid and selective responses to the environment in order to maintain local and systemic homeostasis. In this context, it is not surprising that the function of the skin is tightly regulated by systemic neuro-endocrine system. Skin cells and skin appendages not only respond to neuropeptides, steroids and other regulatory signals, but also actively synthesis variety of hormones. The stress responses within the skin are tightly regulated by locally synthesized factors and their receptor expression. There is growing evidence for alternative splicing playing an important role in stress signaling. Deregulation of the skin neuro-endocrine signaling can lead or/and be a marker of variety of skin diseases. The major problem in this area relates to their detailed mechanisms of crosstalk between skin and brain and between the local and global endocrine as well as immune systems.

Keywords: POMC; corticotropin releasing factor (CRF); homeostasis; hormones; melatonin; neurotransmitters; regulatory network; skin; stress.