The human skin serves as a source for a large number of neurohormones and neuropeptides, which affect skin biology on multiple different levels. Intriguingly, this includes the control of keratin expression by neurohormones such as thyrotropin-releasing hormone, thyrotropin, opioids, prolactin, and cannabinoid receptor 1-ligands. While this neuroendocrine regulation of human keratin biology in situ is likely to be involved in the maintenance of skin and hair follicle homeostasis and may participate in skin pathology, this regulation remains to be appreciated and explored by mainstream keratin research. Here, we review recent progress in this frontier of neuroendocrine and keratin skin research, define the many open questions in the field, and elaborate how neurohormones may be harnessed to treat selected genodermatoses and other skin disorders accompanied by abnormal keratin expression.
Part of the book: Keratin