The role of histamine and serotonin during anaphylaxis in the mouse

T. Phillip Waalkes, Harriette Coburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Anaphylaxis was produced in female white mice and was associated with a high mortality. Death appeared to be due to respiratory failure. Histamine and serotonin analyses were done on tissues and blood after anaphylactic shock. No significant changes in serotonin content were found in in vitro or in vivo studies. Histamine, on the other hand, was found to rise in the lung of the sensitized animals during anaphylaxis. This finding suggests that histamine is released from some other site in the body and bound in the lung following antigen-antibody reaction. Thus, histamine appears to be of distinct importance in mouse anaphylaxis, while the role of serotonin is questionable. However, the entire phenomenon of anaphylaxis in the mouse is undoubtedly a very complex process, with many details still obscure. Changes in tissue histamine and serotonin were also studied after injection of these amines into mice which had received pertussis vaccine. The possible mechanism by which pertussis vaccine alters the response to histamine and serotonin was discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Allergy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1960

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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