Study uncovered the role of histamine during fasting
Histamine plays a fundamental role in the interaction between liver and intestine during fasting: this is the result of a study conducted by researchers at the Department of Health Sciences and the Department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health of the University of Florence.
The study, published in Cell Metabolism, was carried out by Gustavo Provensi and Beatrice Passani, University of Florence, in collaboration with Italian Institute of Technology and University of California, Irvine.
The aim of the study was to understand the response mechanism of our body’s metabolism when, during fasting, the levels of glucose are very low.
Mammals have adapted to periods of low food intake by producing ketone bodies in the liver. These ketone bodies are released into the bloodstream and are used by the brain, muscles and other organs as a fuel.
The research team found that the liver response is triggered by mast cells, probably located in the intestinal mucosa, which release histamine into the bloodstream. The release of histamine is followed by the activation of histamine H1 receptors in the liver and the synthesis of oleoylethanolamine which, in turn, determines the production of ketone bodies.