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Histamine receptors found.

Histamine receptors found

Using newly designed drugs, scientistsat several institutions in France and Germany have confirmed the presence of a third class of cell-surface receptors for histamine that apparently is involved in controlling the release of the bioactive substance. Histamine, which is secreted by blood, nerve and endocrine cells, causes smooth-muscle contraction and increased permeability of capillaries. Because histamine has such broad effects in the body, the new receptor-blocking drugs could hold potential for the treatment of allergies, cardiovascular disease and inflammation, say the researchers.

Results also show that the H3 receptorsare found in the lungs, spleen and skin. This, according to the scientists, is the first evidence that they exist in any tissue other than the brain. The scientists suggest that the presence of the H3 receptors on the surface of the same cells that release histamine could indicate a feedback mechanism in which the receptors shut down histamine release when the substance reaches a certain level.

Related conclusions come from an independentstudy by researchers at the University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine, who found the H3 receptor on nerve endings that surround blood vessels. Data from that study indicate that the receptors play a role in controlling blood circulation in some tissues. Both studies appear in the May 14 NATURE.
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Publication:Science News
Date:May 16, 1987
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