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J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Apr;130(4):1023-33. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.358. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

The histamine H4 receptor mediates inflammation and pruritus in Th2-dependent dermal inflammation.

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Department of Immunology, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


The role of histamine H(4) receptor (H(4)R) was investigated in a T-helper type 2 (Th2)-cell-mediated mouse skin inflammation model that mimics several of the features of atopic dermatitis. Treatment with two specific H(4)R antagonists before challenge with FITC led to a significant reduction in ear edema, inflammation, mast cell, and eosinophil infiltration. This was accompanied by a reduction in the levels of several cytokines and chemokines in the ear tissue. Upon ex vivo antigen stimulation of lymph nodes, H(4)R antagonism reduced lymphocyte proliferation and IL-4, IL-5, and IL-17 levels. One explanation for this finding is that lymph nodes from animals dosed with the H(4)R antagonist, JNJ 7777120, contained a lower number of FITC-positive dendritic cells. The effect of H(4)R antagonism on dendritic cell migration in vivo may be an indirect result of the reduction in tissue cytokines and chemokines or a direct effect on chemotaxis. In addition to anti-inflammatory effects, JNJ 7777120 also significantly inhibited the pruritus shown in the model. Therefore, the dual effects of H(4)R antagonists on pruritus and Th2-cell-mediated inflammation point to their therapeutic potential for the treatment of Th2-mediated skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis.

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