It has been reported that the histamine H1 receptor (H1R) gene is up-regulated in patients with allergic rhinitis and H1R expression level strongly correlates with the severity of allergy symptoms. Accordingly compounds that suppress the H1R gene expression are promising as useful anti-allergic medications. Recently, we demonstrated that histamine or phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) stimulation induced the up-regulation of H1R gene expression through the protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 signaling pathway in HeLa cells expressing H1R endogenously. Quercetin is one of the well-characterized flavonoids and it possesses many biological activities including anti-allergic activity. However, effect of quercetin on H1R signaling is remained unknown. In the present study, we examined the effect of quercetin on histamine- and PMA-induced up-regulation of H1R gene expression in HeLa cells. We also investigated its in vivo effects on the toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI)-sensitized allergy model rats. Quercetin suppressed histamine- and PMA-induced up-regulation of H1R gene expression. Quercetin also inhibited histamine- or PMA-induced phosphorylation of Tyr(311) of PKCδ and translocation of PKCδ to the Golgi. Pre-treatment with quercetin for 3weeks suppressed TDI-induced nasal allergy-like symptoms and elevation of H1R mRNA in the nasal mucosa of TDI-sensitized rats. These data suggest that quercetin suppresses H1R gene expression by the suppression of PKCδ activation through the inhibition of its translocation to the Golgi.
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