[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After coronary stent implantation, the unfavorable in-stent restenosis often occurs by the formation of neointima due to the proliferation of smooth muscle cells. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and other peptide growth factors contribute to this process, but little is known about the role of non-peptide factors in this process. In the present study, the role of histamine, a non-peptide factor, in the formation of neointima was investigated using a pig coronary model of in-stent restenosis and a culture system of coronary smooth muscle cells. A Palmaz-Schatz stent was implanted in the left anterior descending coronary artery of male pigs. At 1, 2 and 4 weeks after stenting, the histamine content of neointima was determined to be 326 +/- 82, 1427 +/- 280 and 440 +/- 69 pmol/mg protein, respectively, by HPLC fluorometry. In contrast, the histamine content of arterial media from the untreated control arteries was only 15.3 +/- 1.6 pmol/mg protein. These results demonstrate that the histamine content of neointima is about 20 to 90-fold that of the normal media. In vitro, histamine by itself did not stimulate the proliferation of cultured smooth muscle cells, but potentiated the PDGF-stimulated proliferation of the cultured cells via a mechanism independent of H1 and H2 histamine receptors. Thus, histamine may be an important non-peptide factor in the pathogenesis of in-stent restenosis.