Dopaminergic and Adrenergic Pathways as Targets for Drug Repurposing in the Neuroimmune Network.
Dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline are catecholamines, and are all produced along the same metabolic pathway. Their discovery dates back to the early 1900s, and they were appreciated until the second half of the century mainly for their role in the brain and in the regulation of autonomic functions. Nonetheless, in the 1970s characterization of the key role of sympathoadrenergic nerve fibers in the cross-talk between the brain and the immune system paved the way to the raise of modern neuroimmunology, and understanding the immune effects of dopamine occurred in the subsequent decades. Both adrenergic and dopaminergic transmission offer a possibly unparalleled wealth of therapeutic targets, and most of them have been already successfully exploited for cardiovascular, respiratory, neurologic and even psychiatric diseases, however so far the therapeutic potential of adrenergic and dopaminergic agents in the neuroimmune network remains relatively unexploited. This special issue provides a unique collection of expert contributions from some of the most prominent researchers currently studying dopaminergic and adrenergic agents in major diseases like cancer, autoimmunity, neurodegeneration, and even in emerging areas like hematology and metabolism. It is strongly hoped that these reviews will be not only helpful for researchers already working on topics related to the neuroimmune pharmacology of catecholamines, but will also attract novel researchers as much work is still needed to fully exploit the therapeutic potential of dopaminergic and adrenergic drugs for the benefit of patients.