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J Immunol. 2005 May 1;174(9):5224-32.

Histamine H4 receptor stimulation suppresses IL-12p70 production and mediates chemotaxis in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Hannover Medical University, Hannover, Germany.


There is increasing evidence that histamine as an important mediator of immediate type allergic reactions also effects professional APCs. Recent reports showed effects of histamine on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDC) mediated primarily via histamine H1 receptors (H1R) and H2R. We show here that MoDC also express H3R and H4R at the mRNA and protein level. mRNA of the H3R is down-regulated and mRNA of the H4R is up-regulated during the differentiation from monocytes to MoDC. H4R or H2R stimulation suppressed IL-12p70 production in MoDC. Induction of cAMP was necessary for IL-12p70 inhibition mediated via the H2R. In contrast, H4R stimulation did not affect cAMP production but induced the transcription factor AP-1, and U0126, an inhibitor of AP-1 transactivation and MEK, rescued H4R mediated IL-12p70 suppression. Moreover, MoDC responded to a H4R agonist (and also to a H2R agonist) with increased F-actin polymerization and migration in modified Boyden chamber assays, suggesting a chemotactic effect of histamine via the H2R and the H4R. Thus, H4R stimulation on MoDC results in immunomodulatory and chemotactic effects. Histamine induces chemotaxis and IL-12p70 suppression via different receptors using different signaling pathways, which might be important for the pathogenesis of and therapeutic interventions in allergic diseases.

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