The tachykinin, substance P, is found primarily in sensory nerves. In the heart, substance P-containing nerve fibers are often found surrounding coronary vessels, making them ideally situated to sense changes in the myocardial environment. Recent studies in rodents have identified substance P as having dual roles in the heart, depending on disease etiology and/or timing. Thus far, these studies indicate that substance P may be protective acutely following ischemia-reperfusion, but damaging long-term in non-ischemic induced remodeling and heart failure. Sensory nerves may be at the apex of the cascade of events leading to heart failure, therefore, they make a promising potential therapeutic target that warrants increased investigation.
Keywords: Heart failure; Myocardial remodeling; Neuropeptide; Sensory nerve; Substance P; Tachykinin.
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