Sensory Nerves pp 393-416 | Cite as

Sensory-Nerve-Derived Neuropeptides: Possible Therapeutic Targets

  • Elizabeth S. Fernandes
  • Sabine M. Schmidhuber
  • Susan D. BrainEmail author
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 194)


This review examines our developing understanding of the families and activities of some of the best known sensory-nerve-derived inflammatory neuropeptides, namely substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide and galanin. Evidence to date shows involvement of these transmitters in a wide range of systems that includes roles as inflammatory modulators. There is an increasing understanding of the mechanisms involved in the release of the peptides from sensory nerves and these are key in understanding the potential of neuropeptides in modulating inflammatory responses and may also provide novel targets for anti-inflammatory therapy. The neuropeptides released act via specific G protein coupled receptors, most of which have now been cloned. There is knowledge of selective agonists and antagonists for many subtypes within these families. The study of neuropeptides in animal models has additionally revealed pathophysiological roles that in turn have led to the development of new drugs, based on selective receptor antagonism.


Neuropeptides Substance P CGRP Galanin 





Adrenomedullin receptor type 1


Adrenomedullin receptor type 2


Calcitonin gene-related peptide


Calcitonin receptor-like receptor


Dorsal root ganglia




Galanin-like peptide


Galanin-message-associated peptide


Messenger RNA


Neurokinin A


Neurokinin B


Receptor activity modifying protein


Substance P


Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1



E.S.F. is funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign and by a postdoctoral grant from Conselho de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq, Brazil).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth S. Fernandes
    • 1
  • Sabine M. Schmidhuber
    • 1
  • Susan D. Brain
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Cardiovascular DivisionKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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