Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a neurotransmitter that is widely expressed in the brain and peripheral nervous system. Various immune cells express the receptor for NPY, Y1 receptor. NPY modulates these cells via its Y1 receptor, and involvement of NPY in the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma, has been reported. Increased plasma levels of NPY in asthmatic patients have been reported. NPY polymorphisms are associated with an increased risk for asthma in overweight subjects and young adults. We and other researchers have reported that using murine models of allergic airway responses, NPY and Y1 receptor play critical roles for the development of allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. Therefore, manipulating NPY-Y1 pathway represents a novel therapeutic target to control allergic airway responses, and might be beneficial for treatment of bronchial asthma.
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