Inhibition of antibody synthesis by histamine in concanavalin A-treated mice: The possible role of glucocorticosteroids

A. M. Badger, D. E. Griswold, M. J. Dimartino, G. Poste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Administration of histamine (50 mg/kg) to BALB/C mice injected with concanavalin A (Con A) (100 μg, i.v.) 24 hr previously, results in a marked decrease in antibody synthesis to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) injected 2 hr later. This phenomenon occurs with nonimmunosuppressive doses of Con A and is strain-specific. It does not take place in the response to the T-independent antigen polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or if histamine is administered after the antigen. Adoptive transfer of normal syngeneic cells at the same time as antigen does not reverse this effect. Excess suppressor cell generation was excluded by co-cultivation of treated spleen cells with normal cells in vitro and by determining their antibody response to SRBC 5 days later. 2-Methylhistamine, a histamine type 1 (H1) receptor agonist, mimicks the effect of histamine whereas dimaprit, a histamine type 2 (H2) receptor agonist, does not. Because histamine interaction with H1 receptors causes the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), we examined the effects of ACTH and corticosterone in this system and found that both could mimick the effect of histamine. These results suggest that the interaction of histamine with H1 receptors causes the release of glucocorticosteroids that may interfere with either Con A-activated T helper cell function or macrophage processing of T-dependent antigen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1022
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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