MAY 26, 2016 12:43 PM PDT

Suppressing Peant Allergy Anaphylaxis with Histamine Blockers

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
All antihistamine drugs on the market today block only the H1 receptor, but there are three more histamine receptors that are involved in the allergic immune response that are present on the surface of several body cell types. New research shows that simultaneously blocking two different histamine receptors can inhibit gastrointestinal symptoms to the point where people with peanut allergies might be able to safely consume peanut products.
 

Recent studies have shown that exposure early in life to peanuts can help prevent the development of peanut allergies as people mature. However, for people who already have an allergy, the only existing, effective measure to prevent life-threatening symptoms is to avoid contact with the allergen. A new study from National Jewish Health might be the answer for people with both peanut allergies and peanut cravings.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Allergy, involved mice models of peanut allergy that were already sensitized to peanuts. The researchers first treated the mice with oral doses of H1 receptor blockers and H4 receptor blockers separately, done during the “challenge phase” as the mice encountered peanuts. 

The response was essentially the same for mice receiving either individual dose of either H1 or H4 receptor blockers: “partial suppression, plus decreased numbers of dendritic cells in mesenteric lymph nodes and lamina propria.”

On the other hand, when researchers gave oral doses of a combination of H1 and H4 receptor blockers during the challenge phase, gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, and others were prevented almost entirely. 

Histamine is a chemical released by immune cells like basophils and mast cells in times of allegy as well as in times of stress. Histamine can trigger a variety of responses associated with an allergy, such as inflammation, itchiness, and mucus production. These responses occur because of  histamine’s effect on the body: dilating blood vessels, bronchoconstriction. In addition to playing a primary role in food allergies, histamine is also a key player in conditions like asthma and hay fever. 

Throughout the study, researchers measured a variety of interactions to understand the full story of how blocking histamine receptors inhibits the allergic response: dendritic cell chemotaxis, calcium mobilization, and antigen-presenting cell function. The H1 receptor antagonist they used, loratadine, is a drug present in common allergy alleviator Claritin. The H4 receptor antagonist is an experimental drug, called JNJ7777120. 

The also completed several in vitro experiments to visualize at the cellular level how the antihistamine drugs suppressed the allergic response. They saw the histamine receptor blockers work by inhibiting accumulation and function of dendritic cells, antigen-presenting cells of the immune system that normally present peanut proteins to T lymphocytes in people with peanut allergies.
As many as 15 million Americans are believed to have some sort of food allergies, and many are at risk for life-threatened anaphylaxis. This exciting new research shows much promise for treating the most severe allergies and improving the quality of life for millions of people with allergies.
 

Sources: National Jewish Health, Allergy & Immunology Associates of Michigan, Food Allergy & Research Education
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
MAR 02, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
MAR 02, 2020
Bluetooth-enabled skin patch monitors diabetics' glucose levels
A new wearable skin patch could completely transform daily glucose tracking routines for diabetics. This innovation, developed by the UK-based company Nema...
FEB 28, 2020
Cardiology
FEB 28, 2020
Diabetes and Heart Problems Linked to Worse Prognosis of COVID-19
According to most recent data on the COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, those suffering from heart conditions, diabetes and othe...
MAR 04, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAR 04, 2020
Smoking Marijuana Could Cause 12 Hour Erections
Smoking marijuana is known to have multiple side effects. From getting the munchies to paranoia and memory problems, it is also usually thought to cause er...
MAR 16, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAR 16, 2020
Cannabis Reduces ADHD Med Use in New Study
As the legalization of medical cannabis increases in the U.S. and around the globe, its effects on a variety of conditions and behaviors are under examinat...
MAR 24, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
MAR 24, 2020
Crumpling Graphene Makes It an Ultra-Sensitive Biosensor
Liquid biopsies often need to make many copies of RNA or DNA before they are detectable. New research aims to change that....
MAR 24, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 24, 2020
Infection of The Heart
Inflammation of the heart muscle can affect the hearts electrical system. This can reduce the heart's ability to pump blood or may cause an abnormal he...
Loading Comments...