Dunford PJ, Williams KN, Desai PJ et al.Histamine H4 receptor antagonists are superior to traditional antihistamines in the attenuation of experimental pruritus. J Allergy Clin Immunol 119:176-183

The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 02/2007; 119(1):176-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.08.034
Source: PubMed


Histamine is a potent mediator of itch in humans, yet histamine H(1) receptor antagonists have been shown to be of limited use in the treatment of certain chronic pruritic diseases. The histamine H(4) receptor is a recently described histamine receptor, expressed on hematopoietic cells, linked to the pathology of allergy and asthma.
The contribution of the novel histamine H(4) receptor to histaminergic and allergic pruritus was investigated.
Histamine and a selective histamine H(4) receptor agonist caused scratching responses in mice, which were almost completely attenuated in histamine H(4) receptor knockout mice or by pretreatment with the selective histamine H(4) receptor antagonist, JNJ 7777120. Pruritus induced by allergic mechanisms was also potently inhibited with histamine H(4) receptor antagonist treatment or in histamine H(4) receptor knockout mice. In all cases, the inhibitory effect of histamine H(4) receptor antagonist was greater than those observed with histamine H(1) receptor antagonists. The histamine H(4) receptor-mediated pruritus was shown to be independent of mast cells or other hematopoietic cells and may result from actions on peripheral neurons.
These results demonstrate that the histamine H(4) receptor is involved in pruritic responses in mice to a greater extent than the histamine H(1) receptor.
Histamine H(4) receptor antagonists may have therapeutic utility for treating chronic pruritic diseases in humans where histamine H(1) receptor antagonists are not effective.

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    • "The antitussive effect of JNJ7777120 can be mediated by peripheral mechanisms, but it is not possible to exclude central mechanisms since JNJ7777120 crosses the blood–brain barrier (Dunford et al., 2007) and H 4 R is functionally expressed within human and rodent neurons in numerous areas of the central nervous system (Galeotti et al., 2013). JNJ7777120 (unlike firstgeneration antihistamines) does not cause sedation in rodents (Dunford et al., 2007), so the antitussive effect of JNJ7777120 cannot be attributed to a sedative effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of H4R antagonist JNJ7777120 on nasal symptoms, cough, airway resistance (Raw), inflammatory cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and blood in ovalbumin (OVA) induced allergic rhinitis (AR) was studied in guinea pigs. Animals (n=8) were sensitized by i.p. OVA and were repeatedly challenged with nasal OVA to induce rhinitis, seven animals were not sensitized. Animals were pre-treated with JNJ7777120 2.5 and 5mg/kg i.p. 30minutes prior OVA. Cough was induced by inhalation of citric acid, Raw was measured in vivo by Pennock's method as baseline, during AR and after JNJ7777120 treatment. Leukocyte count in BAL and blood were analysed. JNJ7777120 (5mg/kg) significantly suppressed nasal symptoms and the number of coughs. This compound significantly inhibited airway reactivity to histamine, but not methacholine. Pre-treatment with JNJ7777120 5mg/kg did not influence significantly the leukocyte count in BAL and blood except for a significant decrease in monocyte count in blood compared to the control group (p<0.05). We conclude that the antitussive action of JNJ7777120 is peripheral. The primary effect of the compound is anti-inflammatory, and the suppression of cough is a consequence of reduced airway inflammation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology
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    • "In this line, studies could show that patients with AD express increased levels of H4R on T-cells of the peripheral blood [4]. Moreover, Dunford et al. demonstrate that the H4R is involved in pruritic responses in mice to a greater extent than the H1R [5] and Ohsawa et al. could demonstrate a potent anti-inflammatory effect of combined administration of H1R and H4R antagonists in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis [6]. However, there have also been contradictory studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Histamine drives pruritus in allergic skin diseases which clinically constitutes a most disruptive symptom. Skin pathology in allergic skin diseases is crucially influenced by different T-helper subsets. However, the contribution of different histamine-receptors to T-helper cell dependent skin pathology has not been definitively answered. Models which can specifically address the functional role of T-helper subsets and the mediators involved are therefore valuable to gain further insights into molecular pathways which contribute to allergic skin disease. They might also be helpful to probe amendable therapeutic interventions such as histamine-receptor antagonism.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · PLoS ONE
    • "According to Dunford et al. 2007, the antiprurinergic potential of the H 4 receptor antagonist JNJ7777120 because of any sedative properties can be excluded, "

    No preview · Article · Nov 2013
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