Vasoactive neuropeptides in autoimmune diseases

Ekua W Brenu, Lotti Tajouri, Donald R. Staines, Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Neuropeptides are a class of regulatory peptides with effects in nearly all physiological systems and processes. They are important in facilitating neuroendocrine immune interactions. Bi-directional communication between these two systems in both the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery are arbitrated by the presence of these peptidergic innervations. These innervations interacting through unique ligand receptor binding complexes have immunomodulatory effects that preserve neuroendocrine and neuroimmune health. A vast majority of neuropeptides are contained within the lymphoidorgans and these include calcitonin-gene-related peptide, somatostatin, glanin, neurokinin,substance P, neuropeptide Y and vasoactive neuropeptides (VNs) (Felten et al., 1987; Feltenet al., 1992; Fink and Weihe, 1988; Nohr and Weihe, 1991; Weihe et al., 1991). The two most important VNs, associated with most neuro-immune disorders, are vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP). VNs are widespread throughout the mammalian body including areas such as central nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system (PNS) and other organs. They therefore perform a wide spectrum of activities in the body which are required for the regulation of physiological processes. A number of autoimmune disorders with compromises to physiological activities involving the neuroendocrine and immune systems have been shown to be associated with VNs, hence, VNs may have a role in the progression of these autoimmune disorders. Importantly, VIP and PACAP have G-protein coupled receptors(GPCRs) receptors. Binding and ligation of these receptors triggers GPCR reactions resulting in cAMP production. Downstream signalling activities of cAMP can either be advantageous or detrimental to neuroimmune homeostasis especially in diseased states. This chapter therefore examines the vital role of VIP and PACAP in the mechanism and progression of autoimmune disorders including Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Multiple Sclerosis (MS),Alzheimer‘s Disease (AD), and Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutoimmune disorders
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent concepts and advances from bedside to mechanistic insights
EditorsF P Huang
Place of PublicationRijeka
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9789533076539
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Vasoactive neuropeptides in autoimmune diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this