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Histamine is a small molecule secreted by mast cells. When specific ligands bind to receptors on the mast cell surface, the mast cell is triggered and releases histamine. The released histamine enters nearby cells and causes inflammation[1]. Histamine causes the symptoms associated with allergic reactions such as sneezing and itching [2].  Histamine is released during allergic reactions and the symptoms can be alleviated using antihistamines. An antihistamine acts as an antagonist and can be taken either to prevent an allergic reaction or when experiencing an allergic reaction. For example, taking antihistamines in response to hayfever will act on the H2 receptors in the nose.

G-protein-coupled receptors respond to histamine. All of the G-protein coupled receptors which respond to histamine are involved with producing the inflammatory response[3].


  1. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Antihistamines/Pages/How-does-it-work.aspx
  2. Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P. (2008), Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, New York: Garland Science.
  3. H.P. Rang, M.M. Dale, J.M. Ritter, R.J. Flower, G.Henderson (2011)fckLRRang and Dale's pharmacology, 7th edition, page 211.

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