Mouse mammary epithelial histamine system

Waldemar Wagner, A. Ichikawa, S. Tanaka, P. Panula, W. A. Fogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Histamine is suggested to play a role in mammary gland growth regulation, differentiation and functioning during pregnancy and lactation. Two pools of histamine are thought to be involved in these processes: mastocyte- and epithelial cell related histamine. In the present study we focused on epithelial cells. Immunohistochemistry has shown that the epithelial cells positive for histamine and L-histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the primary enzyme regulating histamine biosynthesis, were mainly found in cells forming alveolar structures in the mammary gland. Cultured primary mouse mammary epithelial cells (MMEC) expressed strong HDC immunoreactivity, especially dividing cells and non-differentiated ones. Histidine decarboxylase activity undergoes significant changes during pregnancy and lactation. Pregnancy associated intensive growth of the mammary gland coincided with an increase and the first days of lactation with a decrease of HDC protein expression. Binding studies with mammary tissue membranes and epithelial cell membranes revealed the presence of H1 and H3 but not H2 receptors. Summarizing, our data have shown that mammary epithelial cells are capable of synthesizing and excreting histamine and they bear histamine receptors. These findings further substantiate the role of histamine in mammary gland physiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Epithelial cells
  • Histamine
  • Histamine receptors
  • L-histidine decarboxylase
  • Mouse mammary gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology


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