Substance P as an Immunomodulatory Neuropeptide in a Mouse Model for Autoimmune Hair Loss (Alopecia Areata)

Frank Siebenhaar, Andrey A. Sharov, Eva M.J. Peters, Tatyana Y. Sharova, Wolfgang Syska, Andrei N. Mardaryev, Pia Freyschmidt-Paul, John P. Sundberg, Marcus Maurer, Vladimir A. Botchkarev
2007 Journal of Investigative Dermatology  
Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disorder of the hair follicle characterized by inflammatory cell infiltrates around actively growing (anagen) hair follicles. Substance P (SP) plays a critical role in the cutaneous neuroimmune network and influences immune cell functions through the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R). To better understand the role of SP as an immunomodulatory neuropeptide in AA, we studied its expression and effects on immune cells in a C3H/HeJ mouse model for AA. During early
more » ... tages of AA development, the number of SP-immunoreactive nerve fibers in skin is increased, compared to non-affected mice. However, during advanced stages of AA, the number of SP-immunoreactive nerves and SP protein levels in skin are decreased, whereas the expression of the SP-degrading enzyme neutral endopeptidase (NEP) is increased, compared to control skin. In AA, NK-1R is expressed on CD8 þ lymphocytes and macrophages accumulating around affected hair follicles. Additional SP supply to the skin of AA-affected mice leads to a significant increase of mast cell degranulation and to accelerated hair follicle regression (catagen), accompanied by an increase of CD8 þ cellsexpressing granzyme B. These data suggest that SP, NEP, and NK-1R serve as important regulators in the molecular signaling network modulating inflammatory response in autoimmune hair loss.
doi:10.1038/sj.jid.5700704 pmid:17273166 fatcat:msglsxozg5ggbh5ua34f6ebhge