Possible Involvement of Histamine in Muscular Fatigue in Temporomandibular Disorders: Animal and Human Studies

M. Watanabe, T. Tabata, J. I. Huh, T. Inai, A. Tsuboi, K. Sasaki, Y. Endo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


As an approach to clarifying the molecular basis of pain and fatigue in muscles involved in temporomandibular disorders, we examined the activity of histidine decarboxylase (HOC), the enzyme which forms histamine, in the masseter muscles of mice. In the resting muscle, HOC activity was very low. Direct electrical stimulation of the muscle markedly elevated HOC activity. HOC activity rose within 3 hrs of the electrical stimulation, peaked at 6 to 8 hrs, and then gradually declined. Intraperitoneal injection of a small amount of interleukin-1 (IL-1) (from 1 to 10 p.g/kg) produced a similar elevation of HDC activity in the masseter muscle. We also examined the effect of an antihistamine, chlorphenylamine (CP), on temporomandibular disorders in humans and compared it with that of an antiinflammatory analgesic, flurbiprofen (FB). Two groups received one or the other of the drugs daily for 7 days, and they were asked about their signs and symptoms before and after the treatment. A positive evaluation of their treatment was made by 74% of the CP group, but by only 48% of the FB group. Although the effects of CP on the limitation of mouth-opening and on joint noise were negligible, about 50% of the CP group answered positively concerning the drug's effect on spontaneous pain or pain induced by chewing or mouth-opening. The positive evaluation for CP (50%) in relieving associated symptoms (headache or shoulder stiffness) was significantly greater than for FB (13%). FB showed effectiveness similar to but sometimes weaker than that of CP on several symptoms. On the basis of these and previous results and the known actions of histamine, we propose that the histamine newly formed following the induction of HDC activity, which is itself mediated by IL-1, may be involved in inducing pain and, possibly, stiffness in muscles in temporomandibular disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-775
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Antihistamine
  • Histamine
  • Histidine decarboxylase
  • Interleukin-1 (IL-1)
  • Masseter muscle
  • Temporomandibular disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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