Date of this Version
Vasoactive neuropeptides (VNs) such as pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) have critical roles as neurotransmitters, vasodilators including perfusion and hypoxia regulators, as well as immune and nociception modulators. They have key roles in blood vessels in the central nervous system (CNS) including maintaining functional integrity of the blood brain barrier (BBB) and blood spinal barrier (BSB). VNs are potent activators of adenylate cyclase and thus also have a key role in cyclic AMP production affecting regulatory T cell and other immune functions. Virchow-Robin spaces (VRSs) are perivascular compartments surrounding small vessels within the CNS and contain VNs. Autoimmunity of VNs or VN receptors may affect BBB and VRS function and, therefore, may contribute to the aetiology of neurological-related conditions including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. VN autoimmunity will likely affect CNS and immunological homeostasis. Various pharmacological and immunological treatments including phosphodiesterase inhibitors and plasmapheresis may be indicated.
This document has been peer reviewed.