Summary: A family of biologically active peptides sharing a common conserved C-terminal sequence, -Phe-X-Gly-Leu-Met-NH2, where X is either an aromatic or a branched aliphatic amino acid. Members of this family have been found in mammals, amphibians, and mollusks. Tachykinins have diverse pharmacological actions in the central nervous system and the cardiovascular, genitourinary, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as in glandular tissues. This diversity of activity is due to the existence of three or more subtypes of tachykinin receptors.

Top Publications

  1. Puneet P, Hegde A, Ng S, Lau H, Lu J, Moochhala S, et al. Preprotachykinin-A gene products are key mediators of lung injury in polymicrobial sepsis. J Immunol. 2006;176:3813-20 pubmed
  2. Berger A, Benveniste P, Corfe S, Tran A, Barbara M, Wakeham A, et al. Targeted deletion of the tachykinin 4 gene (TAC4-/-) influences the early stages of B lymphocyte development. Blood. 2010;116:3792-801 pubmed publisher
  3. Corander M, Challis B, Thompson E, Jovanovic Z, Loraine Tung Y, Rimmington D, et al. The effects of neurokinin B upon gonadotrophin release in male rodents. J Neuroendocrinol. 2010;22:181-7 pubmed publisher
    ..In male rodent models, NKB and kisspeptin have different effects upon gonadotrophin release and appear to interact in a complex manner. ..
  4. Ignell R, Root C, Birse R, Wang J, Nassel D, Winther A. Presynaptic peptidergic modulation of olfactory receptor neurons in Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:13070-5 pubmed publisher
    ..subpopulation of local interneurons (LNs) in the Drosophila antannal lobe is peptidergic, expressing Drosophila tachykinins (DTKs). We show here that olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) express the DTK receptor (DTKR)...
  5. Page N. New challenges in the study of the mammalian tachykinins. Peptides. 2005;26:1356-68 pubmed
    There is an expanding repertoire of mammalian tachykinins produced by a variety of tachykinin genes, gene splicing events and peptide processing...
  6. Watanabe C, Mizoguchi H, Yonezawa A, Sakurada S. Characterization of intrathecally administered hemokinin-1-induced nociceptive behaviors in mice. Peptides. 2010;31:1613-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, the mechanism of hemokinin-1-induced nociceptive behaviors may be dose-dependent, and distinct from substance P-induced nociceptive behaviors. ..
  7. Satake H, Kawada T. Overview of the primary structure, tissue-distribution, and functions of tachykinins and their receptors. Curr Drug Targets. 2006;7:963-74 pubmed
    b>Tachykinins (TKs) constitute the largest vertebrate brain/gut peptide family...
  8. Chahl L. Tachykinins and neuropsychiatric disorders. Curr Drug Targets. 2006;7:993-1003 pubmed
    The classical tachykinins, substance P, neurokinin A and neurokinin B are predominantly found in the nervous system where they act as neurotransmitters and neuromodulators...
  9. Klassert T, Pinto F, Hernandez M, Candenas M, Hernández M, Abreu J, et al. Differential expression of neurokinin B and hemokinin-1 in human immune cells. J Neuroimmunol. 2008;196:27-34 pubmed publisher
    The tachykinins are a group of related peptides that are mainly synthesized in the central and peripheral nervous system, but are also present in peripheral non-neuronal cells...

More Information


  1. Almeida T, Rojo J, Nieto P, Pinto F, Hernandez M, Martin J, et al. Tachykinins and tachykinin receptors: structure and activity relationships. Curr Med Chem. 2004;11:2045-81 pubmed
    ..Among them, the tachykinins substance P (SP), neurokinin A (NKA) and neurokinin B (NKB) appear to act as mediators of nonadrenergic, ..
  2. Page N. Hemokinins and endokinins. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2004;61:1652-63 pubmed publisher
    The mammalian tachykinins are a family of peptides that, until recently, has included substance P (SP), neurokinin A and neurokinin B...
  3. Naono R, Yoshioka D, Ikeda T, Nakayama T, Nishimori T. The common carboxyl-terminal region of novel tachykinin peptides contributes to induce desensitization in scratching behavior of rats. Brain Res Bull. 2007;71:461-5 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that EKA/B and SP may bind to both the NK1 receptor and HK-1-preferred receptor, and HK-1 may preferentially bind to its preferred receptor. ..
  4. Shimizu Y, Matsuyama H, Shiina T, Takewaki T, Furness J. Tachykinins and their functions in the gastrointestinal tract. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008;65:295-311 pubmed
    In the gastrointestinal tract, tachykinins are peptide neurotransmitters in nerve circuits that regulate intestinal motility, secretion, and vascular functions...
  5. Evangelista S, Tramontana M, Maggi C. Spatial and temporal expression of tachykinins and NK1- and NK2-receptor gene during TNB induced colitis in rats. Neuropeptides. 2008;42:663-70 pubmed publisher
    The distribution and modification of the tachykinins Substance P (SP) and neurokinin A (NKA), their precursor beta-preprotachykinins (beta-PPT) and the receptors involved in their activity, NK-1 and NK-2, were studied in ..
  6. Cheng F, Chan S, Rudd J. Contractile effect of tachykinins on Suncus murinus (house musk shrew) isolated ileum. Neuropeptides. 2008;42:671-9 pubmed publisher
    ..murinus and are involved in mediating contractions directly on smooth muscle, whereas tachykinin NK3 receptors may play a minor role involving a release of acetylcholine. ..
  7. Dinh Q, Klapp B, Fischer A. [Airway sensory nerve and tachykinins in asthma and COPD]. Pneumologie. 2006;60:80-5 pubmed
    ..and cold dry air have been shown to activate sensory nerve fibres to release neuropeptides such as the tachykinins substance P (SP) and neurokinin A (NKA) to mediate neurogenic inflammation...
  8. Beaujouan J, Torrens Y, Saffroy M, Kemel M, Glowinski J. A 25 year adventure in the field of tachykinins. Peptides. 2004;25:339-57 pubmed
    Several aspects of our 25 year adventure in the field of tachykinins will be successively described...
  9. Duarte C, Schütz B, Zimmer A. Incongruent pattern of neurokinin B expression in rat and mouse brains. Cell Tissue Res. 2006;323:43-51 pubmed
    ..Our results have important implications for the interpretation of behavioral results concerning the NKB/NK3 system in these species. ..
  10. Hilton K, Bateson A, King A. A model of organotypic rat spinal slice culture and biolistic transfection to elucidate factors that drive the preprotachykinin-A promoter. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2004;46:191-203 pubmed
    ..These data demonstrate the usefulness of this model to study physiological and pharmacological factors relevant to nociceptive processing that can modulate PPT-A promoter activity. ..
  11. Gianetti E, Tusset C, Noel S, Au M, Dwyer A, Hughes V, et al. TAC3/TACR3 mutations reveal preferential activation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone release by neurokinin B in neonatal life followed by reversal in adulthood. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010;95:2857-67 pubmed publisher
    ..Although the neurokinin B pathway appears essential during early sexual development, its importance in sustaining the integrity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis appears attenuated over time. ..
  12. Sunakawa N, Naono R, Ikeda T, Matsushima O, Sakoda S, Nishimori T. The amino-terminal region of hemokinin-1 regulates the induction of thermal hyperalgesia in rats. Neuropeptides. 2010;44:273-8 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings indicate that three amino acids, Ser, Thr and Arg at the 2nd, 4th and 5th positions of HK-1, respectively, regulate the induction of thermal hyperalgesia by HK-1. ..
  13. Poels J, Birse R, Nachman R, Fichna J, Janecka A, Vanden Broeck J, et al. Characterization and distribution of NKD, a receptor for Drosophila tachykinin-related peptide 6. Peptides. 2009;30:545-56 pubmed publisher
    Neuropeptides related to vertebrate tachykinins have been identified in Drosophila and are referred to as drosotachykinins, or DTKs...
  14. Janelsins B, Mathers A, Tkacheva O, Erdos G, Shufesky W, Morelli A, et al. Proinflammatory tachykinins that signal through the neurokinin 1 receptor promote survival of dendritic cells and potent cellular immunity. Blood. 2009;113:3017-26 pubmed publisher
    ..Nevertheless, the ability of pro-inflammatory tachykinins to affect the immune functions of DCs remains elusive...
  15. Calin Jageman I, Wang J, Bannon M. Regulation of the preprotachykinin-I gene promoter through a protein kinase A-dependent, cyclic AMP response element-binding protein-independent mechanism. J Neurochem. 2006;97:255-64 pubmed
    ..We conclude that, at least in RINm5F cells, cAMP-mediated up-regulation of PPT gene expression does not involve CREB or CREB-related transcription factor recruitment to the AP1/CRE site. ..
  16. Winther A, Acebes A, Ferrús A. Tachykinin-related peptides modulate odor perception and locomotor activity in Drosophila. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2006;31:399-406 pubmed
    ..tachykinin-related peptides (TKRPs) constitute a conserved family, structurally related to the mammalian tachykinins, including members such as substance P and neurokinins A and B...
  17. Patak E, Pennefather J, Gozali M, Candenas L, Kerr K, Exintaris B, et al. Functional characterisation of hemokinin-1 in mouse uterus. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008;601:148-53 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus the mouse hemokinins are tachykinin NK(1) receptor-preferring uterotonic agonists in non-pregnant mice but lack action at the myometrial tachykinin NK(2) receptors present in late pregnant mice. ..
  18. Pennefather J, Patak E, Pinto F, Candenas M. Mammalian tachykinins and uterine smooth muscle: the challenge escalates. Eur J Pharmacol. 2004;500:15-26 pubmed
    We review the actions of mammalian tachykinins on uterine smooth muscle. Derived from sensory neurones and non-neuronal cells within the female reproductive tract, tachykinins are potent uterotonic agents...
  19. Cunin P, Caillon A, Corvaisier M, Garo E, Scotet M, Blanchard S, et al. The tachykinins substance P and hemokinin-1 favor the generation of human memory Th17 cells by inducing IL-1?, IL-23, and TNF-like 1A expression by monocytes. J Immunol. 2011;186:4175-82 pubmed publisher
    ..We thereby analyzed in this paper whether tachykinins may participate in human CD4(+) Th cell polarization...
  20. Bera M, Lu B, Martin T, Cui S, Rhein L, Gerard C, et al. Th17 cytokines are critical for respiratory syncytial virus-associated airway hyperreponsiveness through regulation by complement C3a and tachykinins. J Immunol. 2011;187:4245-55 pubmed publisher
    ..Deficiency of either receptor affords protection from AHR, identifying two potential therapeutic targets. ..
  21. Pinto F, Almeida T, Hernandez M, Devillier P, Advenier C, Candenas M. mRNA expression of tachykinins and tachykinin receptors in different human tissues. Eur J Pharmacol. 2004;494:233-9 pubmed
    The tachykinins substance P, neurokinin A and neurokinin B are involved in many pathophysiological processes...
  22. Yoshioka D, Takebuchi F, Nishimori T, Naono R, Ikeda T, Nakayama T. Intrathecal administration of the common carboxyl-terminal decapeptide in endokinin A and endokinin B evokes scratching behavior and thermal hyperalgesia in the rat. Neurosci Lett. 2006;410:193-7 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that intrathecal administration of EKA/B but not EKC/D evokes scratching behavior and thermal hyperalgesia through the NK1 receptor. ..
  23. Wang W, Li Q, Zhang J, Wu H, Yin Y, Ge Q, et al. Hemokinin-1 activates the MAPK pathway and enhances B cell proliferation and antibody production. J Immunol. 2010;184:3590-7 pubmed publisher
  24. Lasaga M, Debeljuk L. Tachykinins and the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis: An update. Peptides. 2011;32:1972-8 pubmed publisher
    b>Tachykinins play a critical role in neuroendocrine regulation of reproduction. The best known members of the family are substance P (SP), neurokinin A and neurokinin B...
  25. Ogawa S, Ramadasan P, Goschorska M, Anantharajah A, Ng K, Parhar I. Cloning and expression of tachykinins and their association with kisspeptins in the brains of zebrafish. J Comp Neurol. 2012;520:2991-3012 pubmed publisher
    The tachykinins are a family of neuropeptides, including substance P (SP), neurokinin A (NKA), and neurokinin B (NKB), that are encoded by the tac1 (SP and NKA) or tac2/3 (NKB) genes...
  26. Hancock J, Hoover D. Capsaicin-evoked bradycardia in anesthetized guinea pigs is mediated by endogenous tachykinins. Regul Pept. 2008;147:19-24 pubmed publisher
    The present study was done to characterize the effects of endogenous tachykinins on heart rate in urethane-anesthetized guinea pigs...
  27. Page N. Characterization of the gene structures, precursor processing and pharmacology of the endokinin peptides. Vascul Pharmacol. 2006;45:200-8 pubmed
    The endokinins represent several species-divergent and peripherally located mammalian tachykinins (hemokinin-1 in mouse and rat, endokinin-1 in rabbit and endokinins A and B in humans) and also the tachykinin gene-related peptides...
  28. Brylla E, Aust G, Geyer M, Uckermann O, Löffler S, Spanel Borowski K. Coexpression of preprotachykinin A and B transcripts in the bovine corpus luteum and evidence for functional neurokinin receptor activity in luteal endothelial cells and ovarian macrophages. Regul Pept. 2005;125:125-33 pubmed
    Nonneuronal cell sources of tachykinins, such as substance P (SP) and neurokinin B (NKB), have been demonstrated in leukocytes, endothelial cells and endocrine cells, and may play a role in corpus luteum (CL) development...
  29. Palma C. Tachykinins and their receptors in human malignancies. Curr Drug Targets. 2006;7:1043-52 pubmed
    ..b>Tachykinins, including substance P, neurokinin A and B, hemokinin-1 and endokinins, are a family of neuropeptides, acting ..
  30. Mukda S, Chetsawang B, Govitrapong P, Schmidt P, Hay Schmidt A, Møller M. Tachykinins and tachykinin-receptors in the rat pineal gland. Eur J Neurosci. 2005;21:2743-51 pubmed
    ..of extracts of rat pineal glands, followed by radio immunological analysis with antibodies against tachykinins, demonstrated the presence of substance P, neurokinin A and neurokinin B in the superficial rat pineal gland...
  31. Gerrard L, Howard M, Paterson T, Thippeswamy T, Quinn J, Haddley K. A proximal E-box modulates NGF effects on rat PPT-A promoter activity in cultured dorsal root ganglia neurones. Neuropeptides. 2005;39:475-83 pubmed
    ..Similarly, an important role for this signalling pathway was observed in neonate rat DRG neuronal cultures, which require NGF for their survival, namely mutation of the -60 element resulted in higher levels of reporter gene expression. ..
  32. Shiina T, Shimizu Y, Boudaka A, Wörl J, Takewaki T. Tachykinins are involved in local reflex modulation of vagally mediated striated muscle contractions in the rat esophagus via tachykinin NK1 receptors. Neuroscience. 2006;139:495-503 pubmed
    ..mediated contractions of striated muscle in the rat esophagus and to determine the possible involvement of tachykinins in such a local neural reflex...
  33. Naono Nakayama R, Sunakawa N, Ikeda T, Nishimori T. Differential effects of substance P or hemokinin-1 on transient receptor potential channels, TRPV1, TRPA1 and TRPM8, in the rat. Neuropeptides. 2010;44:57-61 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken together, the present results indicate that SP or HK-1 differentially modulated the response of TRPV1, TRPA1 or TRPM8 channel. ..
  34. Metwali A, Blum A, Elliott D, Setiawan T, Weinstock J. Cutting edge: hemokinin has substance P-like function and expression in inflammation. J Immunol. 2004;172:6528-32 pubmed
    ..Two distinct but functionally overlapping tachykinins govern inflammation through NK-1R at sites of chronic inflammation.
  35. Nelson D, Bost K. Non-neuronal mammalian tachykinin expression. Front Biosci. 2004;9:2166-76 pubmed
    Mammalian tachykinins are traditionally viewed as neuropeptides. This review describes the mammalian tachykinins and evidence for expression of these peptides by non-neuronal cells...
  36. Berger A, Paige C. Hemokinin-1 has Substance P-like function in U-251 MG astrocytoma cells: a pharmacological and functional study. J Neuroimmunol. 2005;164:48-56 pubmed
    ..Moreover, we show TAC4 mRNA expression in gliomas, indicating a possible involvement of HK-1 in glioma biology. ..
  37. Lancien F, Mimassi N, Conlon J, Le Mevel J. Central effects of trout tachykinins on heart rate variability in trout. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009;1163:379-82 pubmed publisher
    Recent studies in trout have shown that tachykinins might be selectively implicated in important neuroregulatory functions related to the central control of ventilation...
  38. Nabe T, Tsuzuike N, Ohtani Y, Mizutani N, Watanabe S, Fujii M, et al. Important roles of tachykinins in the development of allergic nasal hyperresponsiveness in guinea-pigs. Clin Exp Allergy. 2009;39:138-46 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, we decided to examine the effects of tachykinin receptor antagonists on AR symptoms in an appropriate experimental model...
  39. Zhang Y, Berger A, Milne C, Paige C. Tachykinins in the immune system. Curr Drug Targets. 2006;7:1011-20 pubmed
    Until recently, the mammalian tachykinins included substance P, neurokinin A and neurokinin B...
  40. Ravina C, Seda M, Pinto F, Orea A, Fernandez Sanchez M, Pintado C, et al. A role for tachykinins in the regulation of human sperm motility. Hum Reprod. 2007;22:1617-25 pubmed
    b>Tachykinins and tachykinin receptors are widely distributed in the male reproductive tract and appear to be involved in reproduction...
  41. Berger A, Tran A, Paige C. Co-regulated decrease of Neurokinin-1 receptor and Hemokinin-1 gene expression in monocytes and macrophages after activation with pro-inflammatory cytokines. J Neuroimmunol. 2007;187:83-93 pubmed
    ..A co-regulated decrease could also be observed in differentiating primary bone marrow macrophages, suggesting that this receptor-ligand pair may be controlled by cytokine networks and may serve a developmental role in the immune system. ..
  42. Andersson K. Tachykinins: role in detrusor overactivity?. Eur Urol. 2006;49:423-5 pubmed
  43. Pennefather J, Patak E, Ziccone S, Lilley A, Pinto F, Page N, et al. Regulation of the stimulant actions of neurokinin a and human hemokinin-1 on the human uterus: a comparison with histamine. Biol Reprod. 2006;75:334-41 pubmed
    Regulation of the contractile effects of tachykinins and histamine on the human uterus was investigated with biopsy sections of the outer myometrial layer...
  44. Costa S, Yshii L, Poston R, Muscara M, Brain S. Pivotal role of endogenous tachykinins and the NK1 receptor in mediating leukocyte accumulation, in the absence of oedema formation, in response to TNFalpha in the cutaneous microvasculature. J Neuroimmunol. 2006;171:99-109 pubmed
    b>Tachykinins including substance P (SP) are well known to play a role in influencing oedema formation and leukocyte accumulation during tissue insult and inflammation...
  45. Long Y, Fu C, Tian X, Chen J, Han M, Wang R. Mechanisms of relaxing response induced by rat/mouse hemokinin-1 in porcine coronary arteries: roles of potassium ion and nitric oxide. Eur J Pharmacol. 2007;569:119-25 pubmed
  46. Birse R, Johnson E, Taghert P, Nassel D. Widely distributed Drosophila G-protein-coupled receptor (CG7887) is activated by endogenous tachykinin-related peptides. J Neurobiol. 2006;66:33-46 pubmed
    Neuropeptides related to vertebrate tachykinins have been identified in Drosophila...
  47. Debeljuk L, Lasaga M. Tachykinins and the control of prolactin secretion. Peptides. 2006;27:3007-19 pubmed
    b>Tachykinins are present in the pituitary gland and in brain areas involved in the control of the secretion of pituitary hormones...
  48. Bost K. Tachykinin-mediated modulation of the immune response. Front Biosci. 2004;9:3331-2 pubmed
    b>Tachykinins represent a family of peptides which have significant effects on such diverse physiological responses as gut peristalsis, vascular permeability, and the transmission of pain...
  49. Ogden C, Rich M, Schork N, Paulus M, Geyer M, Lohr J, et al. Candidate genes, pathways and mechanisms for bipolar (manic-depressive) and related disorders: an expanded convergent functional genomics approach. Mol Psychiatry. 2004;9:1007-29 pubmed
  50. Grant J. Tachykinins stimulate a subset of mouse taste cells. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e31697 pubmed publisher
    The tachykinins substance P (SP) and neurokinin A (NKA) are present in nociceptive sensory fibers expressing transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 1 (TRPV1)...
  51. Fu C, Tang X, Yang Q, Chen Q, Wang R. Effects of rat/mouse hemokinin-1, a mammalian tachykinin peptide, on the antinociceptive activity of pethidine administered at the peripheral and supraspinal level. Behav Brain Res. 2007;184:39-46 pubmed
    ..Our results may pave the way for a new strategy for the control of pain and may provide a clinical strategy to enable selection of either opioid as a priority. ..
  52. Grassin Delyle S, Buenestado A, Vallat L, Naline E, Marx S, Decocq J, et al. Expression and proliferative effect of hemokinin-1 in human B-cells. Peptides. 2011;32:1027-34 pubmed publisher
    b>Tachykinins are a family of structurally related peptides, including substance P (SP), hemokinin-1 (HK-1), neurokinin A (NKA), and neurokinin B...
  53. Marriott I. The role of tachykinins in central nervous system inflammatory responses. Front Biosci. 2004;9:2153-65 pubmed
    ..This review focuses on the evidence for tachykinins in regulating the immune functions of CNS glial cells...