Inflammation in the eye is tightly regulated by multiple mechanisms that together contribute to ocular immune privilege. Many studies have shown that it is very difficult to abrogate the immune privileged mechanism called anterior chamber-associated immune deviation (ACAID). Previously, we showed that retinal laser burn (RLB) to one eye abrogated immune privilege (ACAID) bilaterally for an extended period of time. In an effort to explain the inflammation in the nonburned eye, we postulated that neuronal signals initiated inflammation in the contralateral eye. In this study, we test the role of substance P, a neuroinflamatory peptide, in RLB-induced loss of ACAID. Histological examination of the retina with and without RLB revealed an increase of the substance P-inducible neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1-R) in the retina of first, the burned eye, and then the contralateral eye. Specific antagonists for NK1-R, given locally with Ag within 24 h, but not 3, 5, or 7 d post-RLB treatment, prevented the bilateral loss of ACAID. Substance P knockout (KO) mice retained their ability to develop ACAID post-RLB. These data support the postulate that substance P transmits early inflammatory signals from the RLB eye to the contralateral eye to induce changes to ocular immune privilege and has a central role in the bilateral loss of ACAID. The possibility is raised that blocking of the substance P pathway with NK1-R antagonists postocular trauma may prevent unwanted and perhaps extended consequences of trauma-induced inflammation in the eye.