Background: The systemic anaphylaxis reaction comprises various symptoms, including hypotension, changes in respiration pattern, and hypothermia.
Objective: To elucidate the role of histamine in each of these symptoms, we induced the passive systemic anaphylaxis reaction in histidine decarboxylase gene knockout (HDC [-/-]) mice, which lack histamine.
Methods: HDC(-/-) mice were generated by knocking out the HDC gene, which codes for the unique histamine-synthesizing enzyme. Twenty-four hours after the injection of IgE, HDC(+/+) and HDC(-/-) mice were injected with allergen and body temperature, blood pressure, and respiratory function were monitored in each mouse.
Results: Blood pressure dropped in both the HDC(-/-) mice and the HDC(+/+) mice. In contrast, respiratory frequency dropped and the expiratory respiration time was elongated only in the HDC(+/+) mice. Body temperature was decreased in the HDC(+/+) mice and was practically unchanged in the HDC(-/-) mice. Histamine receptor antagonists blocked the body temperature drop in the HDC(+/+) mice. Intravenous histamine induced similar patterns of body temperature decrease in the HDC(+/+) mice and the HDC(-/-) mice. Mast cell-deficient W/W (v) mice did not show the decrease in body temperature; this suggests that the histamine that contributed to the decrease in body temperature was derived from mast cells.
Conclusion: According to the results of this investigation, in the passive systemic anaphylaxis reaction, respiratory frequency, expiratory time, and body temperature are shown to be controlled by the activity of histamine, but its contribution to blood pressure is negligible.