Until recently, the mammalian tachykinins included substance P, neurokinin A and neurokinin B. Following the discovery of the fourth member of this family, hemokinin 1, a diverse group of novel tachykinins and tachykinin gene-related peptides have been identified in mammals. These newly identified members are preferentially expressed in peripheral tissues. Currently, the impact of these new tachykinin peptides on the immune system remains unclear. Some data imply an important role for hemokinin 1 in the generation of lymphocytes. Tachykinins are traditionally viewed as neuropeptides with well-defined functions as neurotransmitters. Many studies however, indicate that they may also be produced by non-neuronal cells, and exert profound influence on inflammatory responses by affecting multiple aspects of immune cell function. It is of great importance to determine whether the new tachykinin peptides have similar effects. A more detailed understanding of the interactions between tachykinins and immune cells may provide the basis for the development of new therapies for inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases.
Keywords: Tachykinin, Substance P, Hemokinin 1, Endokinin, Hematopoiesis, Lymphopoiesis, Immune cells
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