To cite this article: Gschwandtner M, Rossbach K, Dijkstra D, Bäumer W, Kietzmann M, Stark H, Werfel T, Gutzmer R. Murine and human Langerhans cells express a functional histamine H4 receptor: modulation of cell migration and function. Allergy 2010; 65: 840–849.
Background: Histamine is an important mediator of allergic reactions, and recent studies indicated that the function of different types of antigen presenting cells (APC) can be modulated by histamine, in particular via the newly described histamine H4 receptor (H4R). Therefore, we investigated possible interactions of histamine via the H4R on Langerhans cells (LC), which represent the professional APC in the skin and therefore have an important role in the initiation and maintenance of allergic skin diseases.
Methods: The expression of the H4R was evaluated by real-time PCR, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence staining. The function of the H4R was determined by intracellular flow cytometric measurement of chemokine production and LC migration assays.
Results: Here, we show H4R expression on in vitro generated monocyte-derived LC (mRNA and protein) and on primary LC from murine and human skin samples (protein). The immunofluorescence staining in murine and human skin samples clearly proved that LC express the H4R in situ. Stimulation with histamine or a H4R agonist downregulated the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) in human monocyte-derived LC and primary LC. Prestimulation with a selective H4R antagonist abolished this effect. Moreover, migration of LC from the epidermis was increased after H4R agonist stimulation in ex vivo migration assays using human epidermis and murine in vivo assays.
Conclusion: Our findings show that LC express a functional H4R and point towards a possible pathogenic relevance of the H4R in inflammatory and allergic diseases.