A new paper submitted to PLoS One shows histamine plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria (CM) in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA. Histamine exerts its biological effects through four different receptors designated H1R, H2R, H3R, and H4R. In humans, as well as in murine models of malaria, increased plasma levels of histamine are associated with severity of infection.
The researchers suggest that histamine regulation through the H3R in the brain suppresses the development of CM. Thus modulating histamine signaling in the central nervous system, in combination with standard therapies, may represent a novel strategy to reduce the risk of progression to cerebral malaria.