Histamine A Possible Drug Target For MS Treatment

Histamine is known as a neurotransmitter that triggers the body’s inflammatory response as one of its main functions. That is why it is closely connected to allergies as it helps get white blood cells into tissues to fight off foreign invaders that the body detects. One of the results of this function is the common allergic symptoms of having a runny nose and watery eyes.

Although histamine may be something that people may not really welcome because of the uncomfortable allergic reactions it brings, recent research suggests that it may also be a possible target for future drugs to treat multiple sclerosis. This is according to research recently published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

The study suggests that histamine may be a possible target to develop new MS treatments. This was in light of the findings stemming from analyzing the role that histamine plays in an animal model of multiple sclerosis. The said study showed that histamine may play an important function in preventing MS or lessening its effects on the body.

The study involved analyzing the direct effects of histamine and two other molecules that bind specifically on histamine receptors 1 or 2. Using a mouse model of MS, the researchers generated MS-causing T lymphocytes and then treated them with histamine or with the two other molecules. The results showed that histamine reduces the proliferation of T cells that deal damage to myelin as well as check the production of interferon-gamma which is also involved in brain inflammation and demyelination. In addition, the researchers also discovered that histamine reduces the ability of the T cells to adhere into inflamed brain vessels, one of the crucial steps seen in the development of MS.

“We hope that our study will help design new therapies for autoimmune diseases and in particular MS, for which there is still not a definitive cure,” says Rosetta Pedotti, MD, Ph.D. one of the researchers involved in the said study that was conducted by the Neurological Institute Foundation Carlo Besta in Milan, Italy.

Image Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-01/foas-mta013111.php

 
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