Cancer-initiating cells (CICs) are a limited number of cells that are essential for maintenance, recurrence, and metastasis of tumors. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) has been recognized as a marker of CICs. We previously reported that ALDH1-high cases of uterine endometrioid adenocarcinoma showed poor prognosis, and that ALDH1 high population was more tumorigenic, invasive, and resistant to apoptosis than ALDH1 low population. Histamine plays a critical role in cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Here, we examined the effect of histamine on ALDH1 expression in endometrioid adenocarcinoma cell line. The addition of histamine increased ALDH1 high population, which was consistent with the result that histamine enhanced the invasive ability and the resistance to anticancer drug. Among 4 types of histamine receptors, histamine H1 and H2 receptor (H1R and H2R) were expressed in endometrioid adenocarcinoma cell line. The addition of H1R agonist but not H2R agonist increased ALDH1. The antagonist H1R but not H2R inhibited the effect of histamine on ALDH1 expression. These results indicated that histamine increased the expression of ALDH1 via H1R but not H2R. These findings may provide the evidence for exploring a new strategy to suppress CICs by inhibiting ALDH1 expression with histamine. Histamine increased aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) high population in endometrioid adenocarcinoma via histamine H1 receptor. As ALDH1 activity is supposed to be a general cancer-initiating cell (CIC) marker, this finding may provide an adjuvant therapeutic approach to eradicate CICs.
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