Histamine links allergy and autoimmune disease

H. Zell [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

The neurotransmitter histamine is known to be involved in allergic reactions and other physiological processes. It works by dilating blood vessels and making their walls more permeable so that immune cells can move around more easily. To the extent that autoimmune disorders share some characteristics with allergic reactions, it seems reasonable that similar pathways could be involved in both processes. Now, new research shows that histamine and its receptors may ameliorate disease effects and pathology in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of the human autoimmune syndrome multiple sclerosis (MS), which has no known cure.

Lab Anim. (NY) 40, 99 (2011).
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