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J Clin Invest. 2006 Jun;116(6):1624-32. Epub 2006 May 4.

The H1 histamine receptor regulates allergic lung responses.

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Division of Immunology, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Histamine, signaling via the type 1 receptor (H1R), has been shown to suppress Th2 cytokine production by in vitro cultured T cells. We examined the role of H1R in allergic inflammation in vivo using a murine asthma model. Allergen-stimulated splenic T cells from sensitized H1R-/- mice exhibited enhanced Th2 cytokine production. Despite this Th2 bias, allergen-challenged H1R-/- mice exhibited diminished lung Th2 cytokine mRNA levels, airway inflammation, goblet cell metaplasia, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Restoration of pulmonary Th2 cytokines in H1R-/- mice by intranasal IL-4 or IL-13 restored inflammatory lung responses and AHR. Further investigation revealed that histamine acts as a T cell chemotactic factor and defective T cell trafficking was responsible for the absence of lung inflammation. Cultured T cells migrated in response to histamine in vitro, but this was ablated by blockade of H1R but not H2R. In vivo, allergen-specific WT but not H1R-/- CD4+ T cells were recruited to the lungs of naive recipients following inhaled allergen challenge. H1R-/- T cells failed to confer airway inflammation or AHR observed after transfer of WT T cells. Our data establish a role for histamine and H1R in promoting the migration of Th2 cells into sites of allergen exposure.

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