Roles played by histamine in strenuous or prolonged masseter muscle activity in mice

Hiroyuki Yoneda, Fukie Niijima-Yaoita, Masahiro Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Kumamoto, Makoto Watanbe, Hiroshi Ohtsu, Kazuhiko Yanai, Takeshi Tadano, Keiichi Sasaki, Shunji Sugawara, Yasuo Endo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Bruxism and/or clenching, resulting in fatigue or dysfunction of masseter muscles (MM), may cause temporomandibular disorders. Functional support of the microcirculation is critical for prolonged muscle activity. Histamine is a regulator of the microcirculation and is supplied by release from its stores and/or by de novo production via the induction of histidine decarboxylase (HDC). Interleukin (IL)-1, a cytokine involved in temporomandibular disorders, is an inducer of HDC. In the present study, we examined the roles of histamine, HDC and IL-1 in MM activity. Experiments were conducted using our R+G+ model. A mouse restrained (R+) inside a narrow cylinder (front end blocked with a thin plastic strip) gnaws away (G+) the strip to escape, with the weight reduction in the strip serving as an index of MM activity. Fexofenadine (a peripherally acting histamine H1 receptor antagonist) reduced MM activity in normal mice. Both H1 receptor-deficient and HDC-deficient mice exhibited low MM activity. Prolonged R+G+ induced HDC activity in MM. Mast cell-deficient mice exhibited strikingly low HDC induction in MM (and also in the quadriceps femoris muscle) in response to muscle activity or IL-1β. Mast cells were present around blood vessels and nerves in the epimysium and perimysium of MM. These results, together with others reported previously, suggest that: (i) peripheral histamine supports strenuous MM activity; (ii) strenuous MM activity stimulates mast cells to release histamine and to induce HDC (which replenishes the histamine pool in mast cells, possibly mediated by IL-1); and (iii) peripheral histamine H1 receptor antagonists may be effective in treating temporomandibular disorders or preventing prolonged clenching and/or bruxism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-855
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec


  • Histamine
  • Histidine decarboxylase
  • Interleukin 1
  • Masseter muscle
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Quadriceps femoris muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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