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Effect of histamine on proliferation of normal human adult lung fibroblasts.
  1. M Jordana,
  2. A D Befus,
  3. M T Newhouse,
  4. J Bienenstock,
  5. J Gauldie
  1. Department of Pathology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


    Fibrotic lung tissue shows increased connective tissue deposition and fibroblast proliferation and in addition a substantial increase in mast cell numbers in and around the fibrotic area. To elucidate the question of whether products of mast cells affect the proliferative behaviour of structural cells in the lung and thereby contribute to fibrogenesis, the effect of histamine, a prominent mast cell derived mediator, on the in vitro proliferation of primary cultures of normal adult human lung fibroblasts was studied. Histamine enhanced fibroblast proliferation in a dose dependent manner, with an optimum effect at a physiological concentration of 10(-7) mol/l. This effect occurred when cells were exposed to histamine at restricted times during cell growth and was shown to depend in part on the stage of the cell cycle reached by the fibroblasts. The histamine induced proliferation was mediated through an H2 histamine receptor on the fibroblast, being inhibited by cimetidine, an H2 antagonist, and not by pyrilamine maleate, an antagonist of the H1 receptor. Mast cell products such as histamine may interact with and promote the increased fibroblast proliferation found in pulmonary fibrosis.

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