Histamine affects STAT6 phosphorylation via its effects on IL-4 secretion: role of H1 receptors in the regulation of IL-4 production

Int Immunopharmacol. 2007 Mar;7(3):277-86. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2006.10.006. Epub 2006 Nov 20.


Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT)-6 is a transcriptional factor activated mainly through the cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 leading to the Th2 cell differentiation. Th2 cells play a role in the etiology and pathogenesis of allergic disease. Histamine alters the Th1/Th2 cytokine balance towards the Th2 cytokine profile and consequently plays a role in allergic diseases and asthma. This study was designed to investigate the effects of histamine on the STAT6 phosphorylation. C57/BL6 splenocytes were pretreated with different concentrations of histamine (10(-)(4) M to 10(-)(13) M) followed by stimulation with PMA+ionomycin or IL-4. The phosphorylated and total basal STAT6 levels were assessed by employing the immunoblotting technique. Histamine caused the hyper-phosphorylation of STAT6. H1 receptor antagonist pyrilamine reversed the effect of histamine on STAT6 phosphorylation. However, H2 receptor antagonist ranitidine and H3/H4 receptor antagonist thioperamide did not affect the histamine mediated hyper-phosphorylation of STAT6. Furthermore, H1 receptor agonist betahistine enhanced the phosphorylation of STAT6 whereas H2 receptor agonist amthamine did not affect the phosphorylation STAT6. Furthermore, tyrosine kinase inhibitor, tyrphostin, inhibited the histamine mediated phosphorylation of STAT6 when stimulated with PMA+ionomycin. The effects of histamine on the STAT6 phosphorylation were indirect since they were blocked either by the antibodies to IL-4 and IL-13 or in IL-4 knock out mice in the presence of IL-13 antibody. These observations suggest that histamine indirectly affected the STAT6 phosphorylation via its effects on the secretion of cytokines (IL-4) and H1 receptor played a role in this process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Histamine / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-13 / physiology
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis*
  • Ionomycin / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptors, Histamine / physiology
  • Receptors, Histamine H1 / physiology*
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology


  • Interleukin-13
  • Receptors, Histamine
  • Receptors, Histamine H1
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor
  • Stat6 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-4
  • Ionomycin
  • Histamine
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate