Re-sensitization of desensitized histamine H1 receptors in the human skin takes more than 18 hours

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: It is known since the time of testing histamine on pieces of guinea pig's jejunum that histamine receptors can develop insensitivity. The aim was to find evidence for desensitization of histamine H1 receptors in the human skin in vivo and, if found, to study the time for such receptors to regain normal sensitivity. Materials and Methods: A skin prick test with histamine (10 mg mL–1) was set in areas where a large histamine wheal was evoked 2, 6, 18, 24 or 72 hours earlier. A skin prick test with histamine (10 mg mL–1) was also set in an area where an allergen wheal was evoked 2 or 6 hours earlier. Heights, diameters and areas were measured on photographs of side views of plaster casts of the evoked skin elevations. Results: Histamine wheals, called test wheals, in areas where large histamine wheals were evoked 2, 6 or 18 hours earlier, were smaller than histamine wheals, called initial wheals, in earlier non-stimulated areas. Test wheals from the 18 hours experiment were smaller than test wheals from the 72 hours experiment. Test wheals evoked in areas where allergen wheals were evoked 2 or 6 hours earlier were smaller than corresponding initial wheals. Conclusion: Histamine-evoked wheals and IgE-mediated allergic wheals reduce the sensitivity of histamine H1 receptors in the human skin. It takes between 18 and 72 hours to restore the sensitivity. Similarities between the development of histamine wheals in the human skin and histaminergic migraine with aura are discussed.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


  • desensitization, histamine H1 receptors, human skin wheals, migraine with aura, re-sensitization
Original languageEnglish
JournalSkin Research and Technology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Aug 18
Publication categoryResearch