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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Jan;77(1):5-20. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12097.

Neuropeptide receptors as potential drug targets in the treatment of inflammatory conditions.

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Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pécs, Szigeti u. 12., H-7624, Pécs, Hungary; János Szentágothai Research Centre, University of Pécs, Ifjúság u. 20., H-7624, Pécs, Hungary.


Cross-talk between the nervous, endocrine and immune systems exists via regulator molecules, such as neuropeptides, hormones and cytokines. A number of neuropeptides have been implicated in the genesis of inflammation, such as tachykinins and calcitonin gene-related peptide. Development of their receptor antagonists could be a promising approach to anti-inflammatory pharmacotherapy. Anti-inflammatory neuropeptides, such as vasoactive intestinal peptide, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide, α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, urocortin, adrenomedullin, somatostatin, cortistatin, ghrelin, galanin and opioid peptides, are also released and act on their own receptors on the neurons as well as on different inflammatory and immune cells. The aim of the present review is to summarize the most prominent data of preclinical animal studies concerning the main pharmacological effects of ligands acting on the neuropeptide receptors. Promising therapeutic impacts of these compounds as potential candidates for the development of novel types of anti-inflammatory drugs are also discussed.


calcitonin gene-related peptide; cortistatin; galanin; pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide; somatostatin; tachykinin

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