© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017. All rights reserved. Many observations suggest a functional relationship between the nervous system and cutaneous immunology. Experimental work has demonstrated the presence of receptors for nerve-derived factors on epidermal and dermal cells as well as an anatomic relationship between peripheral nerves and both immune and non-immune cells within the skin. The skin contains an extensive network of nerve fibers that both transmit afferent sensory signals to the central nervous system and are also capable of secreting various mediators in the periphery. These mediators include both peptide and non-peptide factors that regulate a variety of processes including blood flow, sensation, temperature regulation as well as other homeostatic processes. There is a large body of evidence that products of nerves regulate, in part, immunity, inflammation and wound healing. In support of a role for products of nerves in the pathophysiology of skin disease, much evidence exists showing a key role for innervation in psoriasis and there is some data indicating a role for nervous system influences in other inflammatory skin disorders. An improved understanding of the relationship between the nervous system and cutaneous immunity may have important therapeutic implications for inflammatory skin diseases including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, acne vulgaris and, perhaps, neoplastic and other disorders.
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