Substance P induction of murine keratinocyte PAM 212 interleukin 1 production is mediated by the neurokinin 2 receptor (NK-2R)

I. S. Song, N. W. Bunnett, J. E. Olerud, B. Harten, M. Steinhoff, J. R. Brown, K. J. Sung, C. A. Armstrong, John C. Ansel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neurological system plays an important role in modulating some inflammatory skin diseases. Neuro-cutaneous interactions may be mediated by the release of neuropeptides such as substance P (SP) which activate immunocompetent cells in the skin by binding to high affinity neurokinin receptors (NKR). Since epidermal keratinocytes produce a variety of cytokines and are intimately associated with cutaneous sensory fibers, we tested the ability of these cells to participate in the cutaneous neuroimmune system by the secretion of potent cytokines such as interleukin 1 (IL-1) in response to released SP. RT-PCR studies demonstrated that cultured PAM 212 murine keratinocytes expressed mRNA for NK-2R but not NK-1R. Correspondingly, the addition of SP to these cells resulted in a rapid increase in intracellular Ca2+ levels that could be specifically blocked by an NK-2R antagonist. NK-2R was also shown in normal mouse epidermis by immunohistochemistry. SP augmented the expression of PAM 212 keratinocyte IL-1α mRNA in a dose and time dependent manner and this induction was inhibited by an NK-2R antagonist. Secretion of bioactive IL-1α by the PAM 212 keratinocytes was likewise stimulated by SP in a dose dependent manner. These data support the hypothesis that SP released from cutaneous sensory nerves contributes to neuroimmune inflammatory responses in the skin by modulating the expression and release of cytokines from epidermal keratinocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Cytokines
  • Immunomodulators
  • Inflammation
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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