Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), the most common oral malignancy, shows an increasing rate of incidence worldwide. In spite of the recent advances in cancer research, OSCC therapy continues to have unfavourable outcomes, and thus patient’s prognosis remains relatively poor. Current research has been devoted to identifying novel therapeutic targets also in the tumour microenvironment (TME). Histamine and its G-protein coupled receptors (H1R-H4R) play vital roles in multiple cancer-associated processes in TME, where histamine is mainly produced by mast cells. However, oral epithelial cells were recently shown to produce low concentrations of histamine in autocrine and paracrine modes. These findings, together with the discovery of the high-affinity histamine H4 receptor, have led to a massive increase in our understanding of histamine functions. This minireview aims to summarize the most recent findings regarding histamine and its receptors and their involvement in oral carcinogenesis—from oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs) to invasive OSCC. Importantly, histamine receptors are differentially expressed in OPMDs and OSCC. Furthermore, H1R and H4R are associated with clinicopathological characteristics of OSCC patients, suggesting a role in prognosis. Due to the enormous success of histamine-based medications, histamine receptors may also represent promising and viable drug targets in oral cancer.
- 3121 Inre medicin