Histamine receptor-dependent and/or -independent activation of guanine nucleotide-binding proteins by histamine and 2-substituted histamine derivatives in human leukemia (HL-60) and human erythroleukemia (HEL) cells

Biochem Pharmacol. 1995 Mar 30;49(7):901-914. doi: 10.1016/0006-2952(94)00514-m.


In dibutyryl cAMP-differentiated human leukemia (HL-60) cells, the potent histamine H1-receptor agonist, 2-(3-chlorophenyl)histamine, activates pertussis toxin (PTX)-sensitive guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins) of the Gi-subfamily by a mechanism which is independent of known histamine receptor subtypes (Seifert et al. Mol Pharmacol 45: 578-586, 1994). In order to learn more about this G-protein activation, we studied the effects of histamine and various 2-substituted histamine derivatives in various cell types and on purified G-proteins. In HL-60 cells, histamine and 2-methylhistamine increased cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) in a clemastine-sensitive manner. Phenyl- and thienyl-substituted histamines increased [Ca2+]i as well, but their effects were not inhibited by histamine receptor antagonists. 2-Substituted histamines activated high-affinity GTPase in HL-60 cell membranes in a PTX-sensitive manner, with the lipophilicity of substances increasing their effectiveness. Although HEL cells do not possess histamine receptors mediating rises in [Ca2+]i, 2-(3-bromophenyl)histamine increased [Ca2+]i in a PTX-sensitive manner. It also increased GTP hydrolysis by Gi-proteins in HEL cell membranes. All these stimulatory effects of 2-substituted histamine derivatives were seen at concentrations higher than those required for activation of H1-receptors. In various other cell types and membrane systems, 2-substituted histamine derivatives showed no or only weak stimulatory effects on G-proteins. 2-Substituted histamine derivatives activated GTP hydrolysis by purified bovine brain Gi/Go-proteins and by pure Gi2 (the major PTX-sensitive G-protein in HL-60 and HEL cells). Our data suggest the following: (1) histamine and 2-methylhistamine act as H1-receptor agonists in HL-60 cells; (2) incorporation of bulky and lipophilic groups results in loss of H1-agonistic activity of 2-substituted histamine derivatives in HL-60 cells but causes a receptor-independent G-protein-stimulatory activity; (3) the effects of 2-substituted histamine derivatives on G-proteins are cell-type specific.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Histamine / analogs & derivatives
  • Histamine / pharmacology*
  • Histamine Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / metabolism
  • Leukemia, Erythroblastic, Acute / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Histamine / drug effects
  • Receptors, Histamine / metabolism*


  • Histamine Agonists
  • Receptors, Histamine
  • Histamine
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Calcium