To examine the potential role of the histamine-forming enzyme, histidine decarboxylase (HDC), in oral inflammation and disease, we studied HDC activity in oral tissue after induction by bacterial agents. Following injection of E. coli-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into mice, we measured the quantitative changes in HDC activity over time in dental pulp and gingiva. Oral tissue taken from individual mice was insufficient for detecting precise HDC activity, thus, we combined dental pulp or gingival tissues from four mice and assayed them over the course of 24 h. Our results indicate that LPS stimulated marked elevations of HDC activity in dental pulp and gingiva. This increase reached a maximum at 6 h after LPS injection and remained detectable at for least 24 h. Since mast cells are known to produce histamine through a difference mechanism than HDC induction, we compared LPS-induced HDC activity in dental pulp and gingiva to that in ear skin (a tissue rich in mast cells) and liver (a tissues lacking in mast cells). LPS also induced a marked increase in the HDC activity in liver and ear skin at 6 h after LPS injection. By contrast, saline injection had no effect on the HDC activity in any of the four tissues, although basal levels of HDC activity in ear skin was markedly higher than basal HDC activity in the other three kinds of tissues. Still, the relative increase in LPS-induced HDC activity in dental pulp and gingiva were much greater than that in ear skin. Since liver are devoid of mast cells and ear skin is considered the tissue richest in mast cells, the differences in HDC activity between tissues indicates that histamine induced by LPS may be produced by cells other than mast cells through another mechanism of action. These results also suggest that histamine produced in oral tissues in response to bacterial agents such as LPS could be involved in development of pulpitis or gingivitis (periodontitis), the most common diseases in the dental clinic, and that efforts to inhibit HDC activity, which elevates histamine levels in oral tissues, might offer the basis for novel treatment strategies.
- Dental pulp and gingiva
- Histidine decarboxylase (HDC)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology