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2004 | 52 | 5 | 338-347
Article title

Neurokinin receptors: relevance to the emerging immune system

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The adult bone marrow (BM) is the major site of the emerging immune system. Hematopoiesis is the process whereby immune cells are generated from a finite number of hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoiesis is regulated by soluble mediators and intercellular interactions. A major regulatory mechanism of hematopoiesis involves bidirectional crosstalk with the neural system. This communication mainly occurs by the release of neurotransmitters from innervated fibers. The neurotransmitters interact with specific receptors on BM resident cells and release other hematopoietic regulators such as cytokines. Together, the neurotransmitters and cytokines form a complex network to regulate hematopoiesis. Among BM resident cells, the stromal cells are particularly relevant for two reasons: 1) they represent non-neural sources of neurotransmitters, and 2) stromal cells express specific receptors for neurotransmitters. This review focuses on the hematopoietic effects of neurotransmitters belonging to the tachykinins. The two major tachykinins focused in this review are substance P and neurokinin (NK)-A, 11 and 10 amino acid peptides. In BM, the tachykinins interact with two major NK receptors: NK-1 and NK-2. These two receptors appear to limit tachykinin-mediated effects on hematopoiesis. The central roles of NK receptors within a network comprising of cytokines and tachykinins are reviewed.
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Pranela Rameshwar, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, MSB, Room E-579, 185 South Orange Ave., Newark, NJ 07103, USA
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