Histamine plays an important role in the control of gastric acid secretion by activating H2 receptors located on parietal cells. In gastric mucosa, histamine is stored both in mast cells and in enterochromaffin-like cells, especially in rodents. It has been proposed that histamine may regulate its own synthesis and/or release through receptors pharmacologically distinct from H1- and H2-receptor subtypes. In this article, we studied the regulation by histamine of histidine decarboxylase (HDC) activity (enzyme responsible for the formation of histamine by decarboxylation of L-histidine) in a fraction of isolated rabbit gastric mucosal cells enriched in mucous and endocrine cells. Histamine and (R)-alpha-methylhistamine (H3 receptor agonist) dose dependently inhibited HDC activity with the same potency (mean effective concn: 32.2 +/- 0.7 and 50.5 +/- 3.1 pM, respectively) and efficacy (35 and 36% inhibition, respectively). In contrast, the H2 agonist dimaprit was devoid of effect. The H3 antagonist thioperamide was found to decrease the histamine- or (R)-alpha-methylhistamine-induced inhibition of HDC activity (mean ineffective concn = 28.3 +/- 1.8 and 9.87 +/- 0.8 nM, respectively), whereas H1 (promethazine) and H2 (ranitidine) antagonists were unable to affect HDC activity. Moreover, high concentrations of thioperamide (1-10 microns) increased histamine release from these cells. All these results allowed us to conclude that, in gastric mucosa, histamine downregulates its own synthesis (and perhaps release) through the stimulation of autoreceptors with pharmacological characteristics of H3 receptors. However, the relationship between histamine synthesis and release remains unclear and needs further investigation.
- Copyright © 1993 the American Physiological Society