New developments in the use of histamine and histamine receptors

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2011 Apr;11(2):94-100. doi: 10.1007/s11882-010-0163-6.


Histamine and the histamine receptors are important regulators of a plethora of biological processes, including immediate hypersensitivity reactions and acid secretion in the stomach. In these roles, antihistamines have found widespread therapeutic applications, while the last receptor to be discovered, the H4 histamine receptor, has become a major target of novel therapeutics. Recent studies involving human genetic variance and the development of mice lacking specific receptors or the ability to generate histamine have shown roles for the histamine pathway that extend well beyond the established roles. These include identification of previously unappreciated mechanisms through which histamine regulates inflammation in allergy, as well as roles in autoimmunity, infection, and pain. As a result, antihistamines may have wider applications in the future than previously predicted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Histamine* / genetics
  • Histamine* / immunology
  • Histamine* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity* / drug therapy
  • Hypersensitivity* / genetics
  • Hypersensitivity* / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity* / metabolism
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Histamine* / genetics
  • Receptors, Histamine* / immunology
  • Receptors, Histamine* / metabolism


  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Receptors, Histamine
  • Histamine