Role of histamine in the regulation of intestinal immunity in fish

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In mammals, during the acute inflammatory response, the complex interrelationship and cross-talk among histamine and the immune system has been fairly well characterized. There is a substantial body of information on its structure, metabolism, receptors, signal transduction, physiologic and pathologic effects. However, for early vertebrates, there is little such knowledge. In the case of teleost fish, this lack of knowledge has been due to the widely held belief that histamine is not present in this phylogenetic group. However, it has been recently demonstrated, that granules of mast cells in perciforms contain biologically active histamine. More importantly, the inflammatory response was clearly demonstrated to be regulated by the direct action of histamine on professional phagocytes. Nevertheless, the molecular basis and exact role of this biogenic amine in perciforms is still a matter of speculation. Therefore, this review intends to summarize recent experimental evidence regarding fish mast cells and correlate the same with their mammalian counterparts to establish the possible role of histamine in the fish intestinal inflammatory response.

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