Low doses of D-Pro2-D-Phe7-D-Trp9-substance P, as specific substance P antagonist, depressed the scratching and biting behaviors elicited by intrathecal injections of substance P, and cutaneous application of algesic substances. Higher antagonist doses caused hindlimb paralysis. This suggests that substance P is a neurotransmitter for primary nociceptor afferents and may also have an important function in motor control.