AliasesHRH4, AXOR35, BG26, GPCR105, GPRv53, H4, H4R, HH4R, histamine receptor H4
External IDsOMIM: 606792 MGI: 2429635 HomoloGene: 11002 GeneCards: HRH4
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC)Chr 18: 24.46 – 24.48 MbChr 18: 13.14 – 13.16 Mb
PubMed search[3][4]
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The histamine H4 receptor, like the other three histamine receptors, is a member of the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily that in humans is encoded by the HRH4 gene.[5][6][7]


Unlike the histamine receptors discovered earlier, H4 was found in 2000 through a search of the human genomic DNA data base.[8]

Tissue distribution

H4 is highly expressed in bone marrow and white blood cells and regulates neutrophil release from bone marrow and subsequent infiltration in the zymosan-induced pleurisy mouse model.[9] It was also found that H4 receptor exhibits a uniform expression pattern in the human oral epithelium.[10]


The Histamine H4 receptor has been shown to be involved in mediating eosinophil shape change and mast cell chemotaxis.[11] This occurs via the βγ subunit acting at phospholipase C to cause actin polymerization and eventually chemotaxis.[11]

The histamine H4 receptor has been identified as a vital regulator of the immune system, involved in eosinophil migration, mast cell recruitment, dendritic cell activation, and T cell differentiation. The discovery of this receptor has brought it to increasing attention for its therapeutic use in inflammatory diseases such as allergy, asthma, chronic itch, and autoimmune diseases.[12]


The 3D structure of the H4 receptor has not been solved yet due to the difficulties of GPCR crystallization. Some attempts have been made to develop structural models of the H4 receptor for different purposes. The first H4 receptor model[13] was built by homology modelling based on the crystal structure of bovine rhodopsin.[14] This model was used for the interpretation of site-directed mutagenesis data, which revealed the crucial importance of Asp94 (3.32) and Glu182 (5.46) residues in ligand binding and receptor activation.

A second rhodopsin based structural model of the H4 receptor was successfully used for the identification of novel H4 ligands.[15]

Recent advancements in GPCR crystallization, in particular the determination of the human histamine H1 receptor in complex with doxepin[16] will likely increase the quality of novel structural H4 receptor models.[17][18]


Although the effectiveness of H4 receptor ligands has been studied in animal models and human biological samples, further research is needed to understand genetic polymorphisms and interspecies differences in their actions and pharmacological characteristics.[12]



Therapeutic potential

The available data support the H4 receptor as a promising new drug target for modulating histamine-mediated immune signaling and offer optimistic prospects for developing new therapies for inflammatory diseases.[12]

H4 receptor antagonists could be used to treat asthma and allergies.[19]

The highly selective histamine H4 antagonist VUF-6002 is orally active and inhibits the activity of both mast cells and eosinophils in vivo,[20] and has anti-inflammatory and antihyperalgesic effects.[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b c GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000134489 - Ensembl, May 2017
  2. ^ a b c GRCm38: Ensembl release 89: ENSMUSG00000037346 - Ensembl, May 2017
  3. ^ "Human PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. ^ "Mouse PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. ^ Oda T, Morikawa N, Saito Y, Masuho Y, Matsumoto S (2000). "Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel type of histamine receptor preferentially expressed in leukocytes". J. Biol. Chem. 275 (47): 36781–6. doi:10.1074/jbc.M006480200. PMID 10973974.
  6. ^ Nakamura T, Itadani H, Hidaka Y, Ohta M, Tanaka K (2000). "Molecular cloning and characterization of a new human histamine receptor, HH4R". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 279 (2): 615–20. doi:10.1006/bbrc.2000.4008. PMID 11118334.
  7. ^ Nguyen T, Shapiro DA, George SR, Setola V, Lee DK, Cheng R, Rauser L, Lee SP, Lynch KR, Roth BL, O'Dowd BF (2001). "Discovery of a novel member of the histamine receptor family" (abstract). Mol. Pharmacol. 59 (3): 427–33. doi:10.1124/mol.59.3.427. PMID 11179435.
  8. ^ Oda T, Morikawa N, Saito Y, Masuho Y, Matsumoto S (2000). "Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel type of histamine receptor preferentially expressed in leukocytes". J. Biol. Chem. 275 (47): 36781–36786. doi:10.1074/jbc.M006480200. PMID 10973974.
  9. ^ Takeshita K, Bacon KB, Gantner F (2004). "Critical role of L-selectin and histamine H4 receptor in zymosan-induced neutrophil recruitment from the bone marrow: comparison with carrageenan". J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 310 (1): 272–80. doi:10.1124/jpet.103.063776. PMID 14996947. S2CID 6698467.
  10. ^ Salem A, Rozov S, Al-Samadi A, et al. Histamine metabolism and transport are deranged in human keratinocytes in oral lichen planus. Br J Dermatol. 2016. Available at:
  11. ^ a b Hofstra CL, Desai PJ, Thurmond RL, Fung-Leung WP (2003). "Histamine H4 receptor mediates chemotaxis and calcium mobilization of mast cells". J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 305 (3): 1212–21. doi:10.1124/jpet.102.046581. PMID 12626656. S2CID 14932773.
  12. ^ a b c Zampeli E, Tiligada E (May 2009). "The role of histamine H4 receptor in immune and inflammatory disorders". Br J Pharmacol. 157 (1): 24–33. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2009.00151.x. PMC 2697784. PMID 19309354.
  13. ^ Shin N, Coates E, Murgolo NJ, Morse KL, Bayne M, Strader CD, Monsma FJ (July 2002). "Molecular modeling and site-specific mutagenesis of the histamine-binding site of the histamine H4 receptor". Mol. Pharmacol. 62 (1): 38–47. doi:10.1124/mol.62.1.38. PMID 12065753. S2CID 16628657.
  14. ^ Palczewski K, Kumasaka T, Hori T, Behnke CA, Motoshima H, Fox BA, Le Trong I, Teller DC, Okada T, Stenkamp RE, Yamamoto M, Miyano M (August 2000). "Crystal structure of rhodopsin: A G protein-coupled receptor". Science. 289 (5480): 739–45. Bibcode:2000Sci...289..739P. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.289.5480.739. PMID 10926528.
  15. ^ Kiss R, Kiss B, Könczöl A, Szalai F, Jelinek I, László V, Noszál B, Falus A, Keseru GM (June 2008). "Discovery of novel human histamine H4 receptor ligands by large-scale structure-based virtual screening". J. Med. Chem. 51 (11): 3145–53. doi:10.1021/jm7014777. PMID 18459760.
  16. ^ Shimamura T, Shiroishi M, Weyand S, Tsujimoto H, Winter G, Katritch V, Abagyan R, Cherezov V, Liu W, Han GW, Kobayashi T, Stevens RC, Iwata S (June 2011). "Structure of the human histamine H(1) receptor complex with doxepin". Nature. 475 (7354): 65–70. doi:10.1038/nature10236. PMC 3131495. PMID 21697825.
  17. ^ Schultes S, Nijmeijer S, Engelhardt H, Kooistra AJ, Vischer HF, de Esch IJ, Haaksma EJ, Leurs R, de Graaf C (2013). "Mapping histamine H4 receptor-ligand binding modes". MedChemComm. 4: 193–204. doi:10.1039/C2MD20212C.
  18. ^ Nijmeijer S, Engelhardt H, Schultes S, van de Stolpe AC, Lusink V, de Graaf C, Wijtmans M, Haaksma EE, de Esch IJ, Stachurski K, Vischer HF, Leurs R (2013). "Design and pharmacological characterization of VUF14480, a covalent partial agonist that interacts with cysteine 98(3.36) of the human histamine H4 receptor". Br J Pharmacol. 170 (1): 89–100. doi:10.1111/bph.12113. PMC 3764852. PMID 23347159.
  19. ^ InterPro: IPR008102 Histamine H4 receptor
  20. ^ Varga, C; Horvath, K; Berko, A; Thurmond, RL; Dunford, PJ; Whittle, BJ. (2005). "Inhibitory effects of histamine H4 receptor antagonists on experimental colitis in the rat". European Journal of Pharmacology. 522 (1–3): 130–8. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2005.08.045. PMID 16213481.
  21. ^ Coruzzi, G; Adami, M; Guaita, E; de Esch, IJ; Leurs, R. (2007). "Antiinflammatory and antinociceptive effects of the selective histamine H4-receptor antagonists JNJ7777120 and VUF6002 in a rat model of carrageenan-induced acute inflammation". European Journal of Pharmacology. 563 (1–3): 240–4. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.02.026. PMID 17382315.