Histamine promotes the release of interleukin-6 via the H1R/p38 and NF-κB pathways in nasal fibroblasts

Il Ho Park, Ji Young Um, Jung Sun Cho, Seung Hoon Lee, Sang Hag Lee, Heung Man Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Based on the close relationship between histamine and interleukin 6 (IL-6), we hypothesized that histamine may regulate the production of cytokines, such as IL-6, during allergic inflammation. Here, we examined the role of histamine in IL-6 production and histamine receptor activity in nasal fibroblasts, along with the mechanisms underlying these effects. Methods: Experiments were performed using nasal fibroblasts from 8 normal patients. RT-PCR was used to identify the major histamine receptors expressed in nasal fibroblasts. Fibroblasts were then treated with histamine with or without histamine-receptor antagonists, and monitored for IL-6 production using an ELISA. Four potential downstream signaling molecules, p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and NF-κB, were evaluated by Western blot, and a luciferase reporter assay. Results: Elevated expression was seen for all histamine receptors, with IL-6 protein levels increasing significantly following histamine stimulation. Among the histamine-receptor specific antagonists, only the H1R antagonist significantly decreased IL-6 production in histamine-stimulated nasal fibroblasts. Histamine increased the expression level of phosphorylated p38 (pp38), pERK, and pJNK, as well as NF-κB induction. The H1R antagonist actively suppressed pp38 and NF-κB expression in histamine-induced nasal fibroblasts, but not pERK and pJNK. The p38 inhibitor strongly attenuated IL-6 production in histamine-stimulated nasal fibroblasts. Conclusions: The data presented here suggest that antihistamines may be involved in the regulation of cytokines, such as IL-6, due to the role of histamine as an inflammatory mediator in nasal fibroblasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-572
Number of pages6
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease.


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Fibroblast
  • Histamine
  • IL-6
  • Nose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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