Volume 103 (2007) Issue 4 Pages 374-382
Histamine is a major mediator in allergy acting mainly through the histamine H1 receptor (H1R). Although H1R up-regulation has been suggested as an important step for induction of allergic symptoms, little is known about the regulation of H1R level. Here we report that the activation of H1R up-regulates H1R through augmentation of H1R mRNA expression in HeLa cells. Histamine stimulation significantly increased both H1R promoter activity and mRNA level without alteration in mRNA stability. H1R protein was also up-regulated by histamine. An H1R antagonist but not histamine H2 receptor antagonist blocked histamine-induced up-regulation of both promoter activity and mRNA expression. A protein kinase C (PKC) activator, phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate, increased H1R mRNA expression, whereas an activator of PKA or PKG (8-Br-cAMP or 8-Br-cGMP, respectively) did not. Furthermore, histamine-induced up-regulation of both promoter activity and mRNA level were completely suppressed by the PKC inhibitor Ro-31-8220. H1R antagonists have long been thought to block H1R and inhibit immediate allergy symptoms. In addition to this short-term effect, our data propose their long-term inhibitory effect against allergic diseases by suppressing PKC-mediated H1R gene transcription. This finding provides new insights into the therapeutic target of H1R antagonist in allergic diseases.