Histamine dilutions modulate basophil activation. Inflamm Res

Department of Cell Biology , Utrecht University, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Inflammation Research (Impact Factor: 2.35). 06/2004; 53(5):181-8. DOI: 10.1007/s00011-003-1242-0
Source: PubMed


In order to demonstrate that high dilutions of histamine are able to inhibit basophil activation in a reproducible fashion, several techniques were used in different research laboratories.
The aim of the study was to investigate the action of histamine dilutions on basophil activation.
Basophil activation was assessed by alcian blue staining, measurement of histamine release and CD63 expression. Study 1 used a blinded multi-centre approach in 4 centres. Study 2, related to the confirmation of the multi-centre study by flow cytometry, was performed independently in 3 laboratories. Study 3 examined the histamine release (one laboratory) and the activity of H(2) receptor antagonists and structural analogues (two laboratories).
High dilutions of histamine (10(-30)-10(-38) M) influence the activation of human basophils measured by alcian blue staining. The degree of inhibition depends on the initial level of anti-IgE induced stimulation, with the greatest inhibitory effects seen at lower levels of stimulation. This multicentre study was confirmed in the three laboratories by using flow cytometry and in one laboratory by histamine release. Inhibition of CD63 expression by histamine high dilutions was reversed by cimetidine (effect observed in two laboratories) and not by ranitidine (one laboratory). Histidine tested in parallel with histamine showed no activity on this model.
In 3 different types of experiment, it has been shown that high dilutions of histamine may indeed exert an effect on basophil activity. This activity observed by staining basophils with alcian blue was confirmed by flow cytometry. Inhibition by histamine was reversed by anti-H2 and was not observed with histidine these results being in favour of the specificity of this effect We are however unable to explain our findings and are reporting them to encourage others to investigate this phenomenon.

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    • "Conclusion and interpretation varies depending often on what one is willing to accept as scientific information[29]and further, as a result of bias in the scientific community against homeopathy, it is easier to publish negative results on homeopathy in the peer-reviewed literature than positive ones[30]. Lack of mechanistic insights has often plagued homeopathy studies, such as the unexplained findings that homeopathic dilutions of anti-IgE antibodies cause human basophil degranulation[31]and ultra-dilutions of histamine inhibit basophil activation[32]. In animal studies, homeopathic Ruta graveolens and Hydrastis canadensis led to a 95.6% and 95.8% tumor reduction of Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma and Dalton's Lymphoma Ascites (DLA) and were found to increase the lifespan of the tumor-bearing animals by 49.7%, and 69.4% respectively[33]. The same study reported that homeopathic Hydrastis administered orally, significantly inhibited the growth of DLA tumors, with 9 out of 15 tumor bearing animals achieving complete tumor remission. "

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    • "Homeopathy has always been a subject of controversy, and the debate has been recently taken up by a meta-analysis published in The Lancet [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. The discussion about this form of complementary medicine centers essentially on the specific effects of ultramolecular dilutions (beyond the Avogadro limit), which are judged to be " implausible " according to conventional science, although there is emerging evidence for in vitro activity of ultra-high dilutions [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]. For homeopathy to become accepted as a valid part of medical practice, its scientific bases must be rigorously assessed by various experimental approaches. "
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    • "study Method homeopathic Dilution Measured Parameters Maddox, randi, & stewart, 1988 Visual counting anti-ige %Degranulated basophils Poitevin, Davenas, & Benveniste, 1987 Visual counting lung histamine, Apis mellifica %Degranulated basophils Benveniste, Davenas , Ducot, cornillet , Poitevin, & spira 1991 Visual counting anti-ige, Apis mellifica %Degranulated basophils ovelgonne, Bol, hop, & van Wijk, 1992 Visual counting anti-ige %Degranulated basophils hirst, hayes, Burridge , Pearce, & Foreman, 1993 Visual counting anti-ige %Degranulated basophils sainte-laudy & Belon, 1993 Visual counting histamine %inhibition of basophil degranulation sainte-laudy & Belon, 1996 Flowcytometry (anti-ige+/cD63) histamine %inhibition of basophil cD63 expression Belon, et al., 2004 Visual counting histamine %inhibition of basophil degranulation sainte-laudy, 1987 Flowcytometry (anti-ige+/cD63) histamine, histidine %activation of basophil degranulation Brown & ennis, 2001 Flowcytometry (anti-ige+/cD63) histamine %inhibition of basophil cD63 expression lorenz, schneider, stolz, Brack, & strube, 2003 Flowcytometry (anti-ige+/cD63) histamine stability, basophil cD63 expression, Belon, et al., 2004 "
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