New functions of histamine found in histidine decarboxylase gene knockout mice

Hiroshi Ohtsu, Takehiko Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Gene targeting techniques have revolutionized the investigation of the effects of bioactive substances in pathological and physiological conditions. Histamine synthesis is uniquely catalyzed by L-histidine decarboxylase. The knockout mice of this gene express no histamine-producing activity and lack histamine. These mice have been used to examine the mechanisms of histamine in several known phenotypes, e.g., gastric acid secretion, contraction of smooth muscles, vascular permeability, and awakening, and have also been used to explore unreported effects of histamine in the whole body. First, we will review the former mechanisms and then move to the latter, new effects. Especially, in the latter mechanisms, we focus on several important roles of histamine in angiogenesis, neutrophil and eosinophil recruitment, bacterial infection, and systemic anaphylaxis in this review. Moreover, to our surprise, the morphology of mast cells in the knockout mice was severely affected by the absence of histamine in terms of their granules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-447
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jun 6


  • Allergy
  • Angiogenesis
  • Gastric acid secretion
  • Histamine
  • Histidine decarboxylase
  • Infection
  • Knockout mice
  • Sleep-awake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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