Neuropeptides, mast cells and allergy: novel mechanisms and therapeutic possibilities


Dr Edward J. Goetzl, Division of Allergy and Immunology, UCSF, 533 Parnassus. Room U-426, San Francisco, CA 94143-0724, U.S.A.


Diverse neuropeptides are released by neuroendocrine and immune cells at the sites of allergic and inflammatory reactions. The neuropeptides and other neuromediators affect functions of smooth muscle, microvasculature and secretory cells, and are potent stimuli of mast cell, lymphocyte and other leucocyte contributions to such reactions. The distinctive immune sources, structures and cellular receptors for neuromediators suggest the possibility of novel pathogenetic mechanisms and levels of pharmacological intervention specific for neuroregulation of immunity and hypersensitivity.