The effects of tachykinins on inflammatory and immune cells

Regul Pept. 1997 Jun 18;70(2-3):75-90. doi: 10.1016/s0167-0115(97)00029-3.


The aim of this article is to provide an up-dated overview of the available information on the role played by tachykinins in recruiting/regulating the function of immune/inflammatory cells, an issue which has received considerable input from the recent availability of potent and selective antagonists for tachykinin receptors. It appears that NK1 receptors play a role in mediating the extravascular migration of granulocytes into inflamed tissues in response to various inflammatory stimuli, although this effect may not be due to the expression of NK1 receptors by granulocytes themselves. Several data also imply a role for NK1 and NK2 receptors in regulating immune function. No data are available to suggest the expression of NK3 receptors by inflammatory/immune cells. Mast cell degranulation by substance P appears to be a non-receptor dependent response which may take place in vivo during intense stimulation. An emerging concept in the field relates to the ability of certain immune cell types to synthesize and possibly release tachykinins. Immune cells could represent an additional source of tachykinins in inflamed tissues, providing a non-neurogenic tachykininergic contribution to the local inflammatory process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects*
  • Immune System / pathology*
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Tachykinins / pharmacology*


  • Tachykinins