Neurogenic factors released by antidromic nerve stimulation are thought to be in part responsible for the vasodilation and breakdown of the blood-aqueous barrier that follows trauma to the eye. Substance P is one candidate for the mediation of the inflammatory response since it is thought to be a neurotransmitter in sensory afferents and since exogenous substance P is capable of eliciting a response characteristic of inflammation. In rabbits, intravitreal or topical application onto the eye of a specific substance P antagonist, [d-Pro2, D-Trp7,9]SP, inhibited not only the irritant effects of exogenous substance P but also the inflammatory response to a standardized trauma (infrared irradiation of the iris). These observations suggest that substance P, or a related peptide, is a neurogenic mediator of the inflammatory response in the eye.