Cellular and Molecular Biology


Cancer progression and substance P

Rafael Coveñas1 and Miguel Muñoz2

1Institute of Neurosciences of Castilla y León (INCYL), Laboratory of Neuroanatomy of the Peptidergic Systems (Lab. 14), University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain and 2Research Laboratory on Neuropeptides (IBIS), Virgen del Rocío University Hospital, Sevilla, Spain

Offprint requests to: Dr. Miguel Muñoz, Hospital Infantil Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos Pediátricos, Av. Manuel Siurot s/n, 41013 - Sevilla, Spain. e-mail: mmunoz@cica.es

Summary. The substance P (SP)/neurokinin (NK)-1 receptor system plays an important role in cancer. After binding to the NK-1 receptor, SP induces tumor cell proliferation, migration of tumor cells (invasion, infiltration and metastasis) and angiogenesis. In contrast, NK-1 receptor antagonists inhibit tumor cell proliferation (tumor cells die by apoptosis), block the migratory activity of tumor cells, and exert antiangiogenic properties. The induction of apoptosis offers an appropriate method for cancer treatment. The NK-1 receptor can be considered as a target in cancer treatment. A common mechanism for cancer cell proliferation mediated by SP and the NK-1 receptor occurs and NK-1 receptor antagonists are broad-spectrum antineoplastic drugs. The NK-1 receptor antagonist aprepitant is used in clinical practice and exerts an antitumor action against a large number of different human tumor cells. In the future, such antitumor action should be tested in human clinical trials. Histol Histopathol 29, 881-890 (2014)

Key words: Angiogenesis, Aprepitant, Metastasis, NK-1 receptor, NK-1 receptor antagonist, Tumor

DOI: 10.14670/HH-29.881