Impaired Reproduction of Histamine Deficient (histidine-decarboxylase Knockout) Mice is Caused Predominantly by a Decreased Male Mating Behavior

Authors

  • Gabriella Pár,

    1. Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary and Reproductive & Tumor Immunology Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary;
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  • Júlia Szekeres-Barthó,

    1. Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary and Reproductive & Tumor Immunology Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary;
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  • Edit Buzás,

    1. Department of Genetics, Cell and Immunobiology, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary
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  • Erna Pap,

    1. Department of Genetics, Cell and Immunobiology, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary
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  • András Falus

    1. Department of Genetics, Cell and Immunobiology, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary
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Address reprint requests to Julia Szekeres Bartho Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Pecs University, Medical School, Szigeti ut 12, H-7643 Pecs, Hungary. E-mail: szjuli@main.pote.hu

Abstract

PROBLEM: Histamine induces a Th2 shift. As successful allopregnancy is characterized by a peripheral Th2 dominance, we investigated the role of histamine in reproduction.

METHOD OF STUDY: HDC knockout (HDC−/−) or wild-type (HDC+/+) mice kept on histamine-deficient or normal diet were mated. Appearance of vaginal plugs indicated day 0.5 of pregnancy. On day 10.5 uteri were inspected. Splenic IFN-γ production and cytotoxic activity were determined.

RESULTS: In HDC+/+ or HDC−/− females on normal diet, plugs appeared between 3 and 6 days. In 80% of the (HDC−/−)/(HDC−/−) matings on histamine-deficient diet, no vaginal plugs were observed for more than 1 month. After replacing males with the wild type, plugs appeared within 3 days. In HDC−/− mice, litter size was lower than in HDC+/+ animals. Cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production were significantly increased in non-pregnant histamine-deficient mice, but not in pregnant mice.

CONCLUSION: Histamine affects male mating behavior, but is not indispensable for successful pregnancy.

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