Histamine is a well-known mediator of inflammation that is released from mast cells and basophils. To date, many studies using histamine receptor antagonists have shown that histamine acts through four types of receptors: H1, H2, H3, and H4. Thus, histamine plays more roles in various diseases than had been predicted. However, our knowledge about histamine-producing cells and the molecular mechanisms underlying histamine production at inflammatory sites is still incomplete. The histamine producing enzyme, histidine decarboxylase (HDC), is commonly induced at inflammatory sites during the late and chronic phases of both allergic and non-allergic inflammation. Thus, histamine levels in tissues are maintained at effective concentrations for hours, enabling the regulation of various functions through the production of cytokines/chemokines/growth factors. Understanding the regulation of histamine production will allow the development of a new strategy of using histamine antagonists to treat inflammatory diseases.
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