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Histamine

Histamine

Histamine is a hormone that is chemically similar to the hormones serotonine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. A hormone is generally defined as a chemical produced by a certain cell or tissue that causes a specific biological change or activity to occur in another cell or tissue located elsewhere in the body. Specifically, histamine plays a role in localized immune responses and in allergic reactions.

A select population of cells located in the brain manufactures histamine. After being made, the hormone is stored in a number of cells (e.g., mast cells, basophils, enterochromaffin cells).

Normally, there is a low level of histamine circulating in the body. However, the release of histamine can be triggered by an event such as a mosquito bite. Histamine causes the inconvenient redness, swelling and itching associated with the bite. For those with severe allergies , the sudden and more generalized release of histamine can be fatal (e.g., anaphylactic shock).

Mast cell histamine has an important role in the reaction of the immune system to the presence of a compound to which the body has developed an allergy. When released from mast cells in a reaction to a material to which the immune system is allergic, the hormone causes blood vessels to increase in diameter (e.g., vasodilation) and to become more permeable to the passage of fluid across the vessel wall. These effects are apparent as a runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Other symptoms can include itching, burning and swelling in the skin, headaches, plugged sinuses, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Histamine can also be released into the lungs, where it causes the air passages to become constricted rather than dilated. This response occurs in an attempt to keep the offending allergenic particles from being inhaled. Unfortunately, this also makes breathing difficult. An example of such an effect of histamine occurs in asthma.

Histamine has also been shown to function as a neuro-transmitter (a chemical that facilitates the transmission of impulses from one neural cell to an adjacent neural cell).

In cases of an extreme allergic reaction, adrenaline is administered to eliminate histamine from the body. For minor allergic reactions, symptoms can sometimes be lessened by the use of antihistamines that block the binding of histamine to a receptor molecule.

See also Immune system

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"Histamine." World of Microbiology and Immunology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Histamine." World of Microbiology and Immunology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/histamine

"Histamine." World of Microbiology and Immunology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/histamine

histamine

histamine (hĬs´təmēn´), organic compound derived in the body from the amino acid histidine by the removal of a carboxyl group (COOH). Although found in many plant and animal tissues, histamine is specifically important in human physiology because it is one of the chemicals released from certain cells (particularly mast cells) upon tissue injury or during the neutralization of foreign material (antigens) by certain types of antibodies. Released histamine tends to dilate blood capillaries, often causing the skin to appear red and feel warm, and makes the capillaries more permeable, allowing fluid to escape into the tissues. This causes edema (swelling), usually manifested as acute urticaria (rapidly appearing hives, accompanied by severe itching). This sort of reaction is common to many allergies, such as food allergies, and the symptoms can often be controlled well with antihistamines. Unfortunately, histamine is not the only substance released under these conditions, and some allergies, particularly chronic ones such as asthma, are relatively resistant to antihistamine therapy.

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"histamine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"histamine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/histamine

histamine

histamine A substance that is released during allergic reactions, e.g. hay fever. Formed from the amino acid histidine, histamine can occur in various tissues but is concentrated in connective tissue. It causes dilation and increased permeability of small blood vessels, which results in such symptoms as localized swelling, itching, sneezing, and runny eyes and nose. The effects of histamine can be countered by the administration of antihistamine drugs.

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"histamine." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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histamine

histamine (hist-ă-meen) n. a compound derived from the amino acid histidine, found in nearly all tissues of the body. Histamine causes dilation of blood vessels and contraction of smooth muscle; it is an important mediator of inflammation and is released in large amounts after skin damage, producing flushing, a flare, and a weal. Histamine is also released in anaphylactic reactions. See also anaphylaxis, antihistamine.

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histamine

histamine The amine formed by decarboxylation of the amino acid histidine in the body, also found in small amounts in cheeses, beer, chocolate, sauerkraut, and wines. Excessive release of histamine from mast cells is responsible for many of the symptoms of allergic reactions. It also stimulates secretion of gastric acid, and administration of histamine provides a test for achlorhydria.

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"histamine." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"histamine." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/histamine

histamine

his·ta·mine / ˈhistəˌmēn; -ˌmin/ • n. Biochem. a heterocyclic amine, C5H9N3, that is released by cells in response to injury and in allergic and inflammatory reactions, causing contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries. DERIVATIVES: his·ta·min·ic / ˌhistəˈminik/ adj.

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"histamine." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"histamine." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/histamine-0

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histamine

histamine A compound formed by the decarboxylation of histidine and released principally by mast cells during an allergic reaction, in mediating inflammation. It causes the dilation of blood vessels, the increased permeability of capillaries, and the contraction of smooth muscle.

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"histamine." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"histamine." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/histamine

histamine

histamine Substance derived from the amino acid histidine, occurring naturally in many plants and in animal tissues, and released on tissue injury. It is implicated in allergic reactions that can be treated with antihistamine drugs.

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"histamine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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histamine

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"histamine." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/histamine