Neurotransmitters: Impressive regulators of tumor progression

Biomed Pharmacother. 2024 Jul:176:116844. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2024.116844. Epub 2024 May 31.


In contemporary times, tumors have emerged as the primary cause of mortality in the global population. Ongoing research has shed light on the significance of neurotransmitters in the regulation of tumors. It has been established that neurotransmitters play a pivotal role in tumor cell angiogenesis by triggering the transformation of stromal cells into tumor cells, modulating receptors on tumor stem cells, and even inducing immunosuppression. These actions ultimately foster the proliferation and metastasis of tumor cells. Several major neurotransmitters have been found to exert modulatory effects on tumor cells, including the ability to restrict emergency hematopoiesis and bind to receptors on the postsynaptic membrane, thereby inhibiting malignant progression. The abnormal secretion of neurotransmitters is closely associated with tumor progression, suggesting that focusing on neurotransmitters may yield unexpected breakthroughs in tumor therapy. This article presents an analysis and outlook on the potential of targeting neurotransmitters in tumor therapy.

Keywords: Malignant tumor progression; Neurotransmitter; Tumor; Tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Progression*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents* / metabolism


  • Neurotransmitter Agents