European journal of pharmacology vol:405 issue:1-3 pages:113-129
Professor David de Wied first introduced the term 'neuropeptides' at the end of 1971. Later peptide hormones and their fragments, endogenous opioid (morphine-like) peptides and a large number of other biogenic peptides became classified as neuropeptides. All of these peptides are united by a number of common features including their origin (nervous system and peptide-secreting cells found in various organs such as skin, gut, lungs), biosynthesis, secretion, metabolism, and enormous effectiveness. Neuropeptides are biologically active at extremely low concentrations. The past decade, neuropeptide research has revealed that neuropeptides also participate strongly in immune reactions. The neuro-immune concept has opened up a whole new research area. In the last 20 years, significant advances have been made in investigations of the interaction between immune and nervous systems in chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma. The goal of this review is to bring together the functional relevance of excitatory non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic (NANC) nerves and the interaction with the immune system in asthma.