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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Jun;149(6):1506-11.

Pharmacologic characterization of a novel histamine receptor on human eosinophils.

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Division of Allergy, Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine, Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102-1192.


There is increased recognition that lung mast cell mediators not only produce the symptoms of acute asthma, but also result in the recruitment and activation of additional proinflammatory cells, such as eosinophils. Histamine, one of the major mast cell mediators, is known to have numerous effects on eosinophil function. These effects of histamine are mediated by distinct receptors on the surface of eosinophils, only some of which have been characterized. Prior studies have suggested that eosinophils have non-H1, non-H2 histamine receptors which mediate the chemotactic effects of histamine. We observed previously that the histamine-induced increase in cytosolic calcium in human eosinophils could not be blocked by classic H1 or H2 antagonists, but could be inhibited by the H3 antagonist thioperamide. The purpose of this study was to further characterize the pharmacologic properties of this calcium-linked histamine receptor. Using Fura-2 loaded eosinophils to measure the concentration of cytosolic calcium, we examined the effect of additional histamine receptor antagonists and agonists. We found that the pKb for the H3 antagonists thioperamide, impromidine, and burimamide (8.1, 7.6, and 7.2, respectively), were similar to those reported for H3 receptors in the central nervous system, suggesting that the eosinophil histamine receptor was similar to H3 receptors. However, when the known H3 agonists were tested for activity ([R]-alpha-methylhistamine, N alpha-methylhistamine), the potencies of these compounds were much less than the potency of histamine itself, indicating a significant difference between H3 receptors and this eosinophil histamine receptor.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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