Allergy and Histamine

Agents and Actions

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 81-85

First online:

Histamine increases anti-CD3 induced IL-5 production of TH2-type T cells via histamine H2-receptors

  • Jürgen SchmidtAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology, ASTA Medica AG
  • , Sandra FleißnerAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology, ASTA Medica AG
  • , Irene Heimann-WeitschatAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology, ASTA Medica AG
  • , Roland LindstaedtAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology, ASTA Medica AG
  • , Istvan SzelenyiAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology, ASTA Medica AG

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Besides its proinflammatory functions histamine released from basophils and mast cells during immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions is known to inhibit several lymphocyte functions like IL-2 and γ-IFN production. Recently, it has been shown that T helper cells of type 2 phenotype (TH2) represent the T cell fraction which may play a pivotal role in the promotion of the allergic inflammatory eosinophilic late-phase reaction by secretion of cytokines, especially IL-4 and IL-5. We have investigated the effect of histamine on anti-CD3 induced IL-4 and IL-5 production by TH2 cells. Histamine in concentrations between 10−7 and 10−5 mol/l concentration-dependently increased anti-CD3 induced IL-5 production up to 120%, whereas IL-4 production was not affected. The activity of histamine in increasing IL-5 production was mimicked by the H2-receptor agonist dimaprit. Histamine induced increase in IL-5 production was inhibited by histamine H2-receptor antagonists, but remained unaffected by H1- or H3-receptor antagonists. Administration of forskolin which directly stimulates the production of cAMP, the second messenger of the H2-receptor, also resulted in an increase in anti-CD3 induced IL-5 production. These results indicate that the histamine-mediated increase in anti-CD3 induced IL-5 production is mediated via H2-receptors. Consequently, histamine released from mast cells and basophils during the early-phase allergic reaction may act as an important stimulatory signal for the initiation of the allergic inflammatory late-phase reaction by increasing local IL-5 production of allergen triggered TH2 cells.

Key words

T helper cells Histamine Interleukin-4 Interleukin-5