NK-1 Antagonists and Itch

  • Sonja StänderEmail author
  • Thomas A. Luger
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 226)


Substance P (SP) is an important mediator of pro-inflammatory mechanisms in the skin. It targets multiple cells such as keratinocytes, mast cells, and fibroblasts which are involved in the cutaneous generation of pruritus. This suggests that SP is an interesting target for therapy. In fact, in recent case reports and case series, SP antagonists demonstrated a significant antipruritic effect in acute and chronic pruritus such as drug-induced pruritus, paraneoplastic pruritus, prurigo nodularis, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and brachioradial pruritus.


Antagonist Antinociception G protein-coupled receptor Keratinocyte Mast cell Neurokinin-1 receptor Neuropeptides Pruritus Prurigo Sensory C-fiber Substance P Skin Tachykinins 



Angiotensin-converting enzyme


Atopic dermatitis


Calcitonin gene-related peptide

CMH fibers

Mechano- and heat-sensitive C-nerve fibers

CMi fibers

Mechano-insensitive C-nerve fibers


Central nervous system


Chronic pruritus


Corticotropin-releasing hormone


Corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor-1


Complex regional pain syndrome




Histamine-1 receptor




Mast cell


Neutral endopeptidase


Nerve growth factor


Neurokinin-1 receptor


Neurokinin-2 receptor


Neurokinin-3 receptor


Neurokinin A


Neurokinin B




Neuropeptide K


Prurigo nodularis




Substance P


Tumor necrosis factor


Transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1


Vascular endothelial growth factor


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyCompetence Center Chronic Pruritus, University Hospital of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.University Hospital of MünsterMünsterGermany

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