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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Nov;79(22):6837-41.

Increase in histidine decarboxylase activity in skin of genetically mast-cell-deficient W/Wv mice after application of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate: evidence for the presence of histamine-producing cells without basophilic granules.


Histidine decarboxylase (HisDCase, EC activity in mouse skin increased by a factor of more than 10 after a single application of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. The cell type that was responsible for the increase in HisDCase activity was examined by using (WB X C57BL/6)F1-W/Wv mice, which are genetically deficient in tissue mast cells. In contrast to a report that increase of ornithine decarboxylase (EC activity occurs in the epidermis [O'Brien, T. G., Simisiman, R. C. & Boutwell, R. K. (1975) Cancer Res. 35, 2426-2433], the HisDCase activity was found to increase in the dermis. Although most of the histamine in the dermis was present in mast cells, the increase in HisDCase activity in the skin in W/Wv mice was comparable with that in congeneic +/+ mice. This increase of HisDCase activity in the skin of W/Wv mice was abolished by prior x-ray irradiation (800 rads; 1 rad = 0.01 gray) but was restored by subsequent bone marrow transplantation. Because mice, in general, are known to lack basophilic leukocytes, the present results suggest the existence of histamine-producing cells without basophilic granules that are derived from the bone marrow.

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