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Histamine Decreases E-Cadherin-Based Adhesion To Increase Permeability of Human Airway Epithelium*

Joseph Zabner, MD; Michael C. Winter, PhD; Sandra Shasby; Dana Ries; D. Michael Shasby, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Correspondence to: D. Michael Shasby, MD, FCCP, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242



Chest. 2003;123(3_suppl):385S. doi:10.1378/chest.123.3_suppl.385S
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During the immediate airway response following aerosol antigen challenge of sensitized guinea pigs, there is an increase in airway epithelial permeability to large molecules.12 This increase in epithelial permeability is reproduced by aerosol challenge with histamine.3 We hypothesized that these effects were mediated by alterations in E-cadherin-based epithelial cell adhesion. When histamine (10−4 to 10−6 mol/L) was applied to the basolateral surface of primary differentiated human airways epithelial cells, it caused an immediate mean (± SD) fall (18.8 ± 6.25%) in transepithelial resistance (TER) that persisted for 3 to 5 min. The H1 receptor antagonist promethazine blocked the change in TER following histamine application. Interestingly, promethazine itself caused a gradual mean increase in TER of 14.9 ± 1.87%.

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