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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Localization and function of histamine H3 receptor in the nasal mucosa


Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mie University School of Medicine, 2-174 Edobashi, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan. E-mail:


Background Histamine is an important chemical mediator of allergic rhinitis (AR). Histamine H3 receptors (H3R) are located on cholinergic and NANC neurons of the myenteric plexus, and activation of H3R regulates gastric acid secretion. However, little is known about the localization and function of H3R in the upper airway.

Objective The objective of this study was to examine the localization and possible function of H3R in the nasal mucosa.

Methods We extracted total RNA from the inferior turbinate mucosa of patients with AR. H3R mRNA and β-actin mRNA were amplified by RT-PCR. We used immunohistochemistry to examine localization of H3R protein in the inferior turbinate mucosa excised during clinically indicated surgery. We used alcian blue/periodic acid-shiff staining to examine the effects of the H3R agonist (R)-α-methylhistamine and the H3R antagonist thioperamide on secretion from rat submucosal glands.

Results H3R protein was expressed around submucosal gland cells. Thioperamide induced degranulation in the submucosal gland in the nasal septum.

Conclusion The present results suggest that H3R is localized mainly around submucosal glands, and that H3R plays an important role in the secretion of submucosal glands in the nose.

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