Translational Neuroendocrinology of Human Skin: Concepts and Perspectives

Trends Mol Med. 2021 Jan;27(1):60-74. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2020.09.002. Epub 2020 Sep 24.


Human skin responds to numerous neurohormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters that reach it via the vasculature or skin nerves, and/or are generated intracutaneously, thus acting in a para- and autocrine manner. This review focuses on how neurohormones impact on human skin physiology and pathology. We highlight basic concepts, major open questions, and translational research perspectives in cutaneous neuroendocrinology and argue that greater emphasis on neuroendocrine human skin research will foster the development of novel dermatological therapies. Furthermore, human skin and its appendages can be used as highly accessible and clinically relevant model systems for probing nonclassical, ancestral neurohormone functions. This calls for close interdisciplinary collaboration between dermatologists, skin biologists, neuroendocrinologists, and neuropharmacologists.

Keywords: CNS; HPA; HPT; dermatology; endocrinology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Humans
  • Neuroendocrinology* / methods
  • Skin / innervation*
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical* / methods