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J Immunol. 2001 Oct 1;167(7):3682-6.

Histamine polarizes human dendritic cells into Th2 cell-promoting effector dendritic cells.

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  • 1Centre d'Immunologie Pierre Fabre, 5 avenue NapolĂ©on III, 74164 Saint Julien en Genevois, France.


Allergic disorders are characterized by allergen-specific Th2-biased responses. Signals controlling Th2 cell polarization, especially those acting by polarizing dendritic cells (DC) into Th2-promoting DC (DC2), are not well known. Histamine, a mediator released by allergen-stimulated mast cells from allergic subjects, has been reported to activate human immature DC. We have therefore tested whether histamine affects DC polarization. We report here that histamine inhibits LPS-induced IL-12 production and polarizes uncommitted maturing DC into effector DC2. DC matured in the presence of histamine fail to produce IL-12 upon subsequent stimulation and prime Th2 responses, even in presence of IFN-gamma, a potent DC1-driving factor. All these effects are mediated through both H1 and H2 receptors. These data show that histamine is a potent DC2-polarizing factor and provide evidence for a novel mechanism that explains the initiation and maintenance of a predominant Th2 response in allergic disorders.

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