Fasting stress exacerbates classical conditioned histamine release in guinea pigs

Life Sci. 2002 Dec 27;72(6):689-98. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(02)02219-1.


To clarify the contribution of stress to classical conditioning-associated asthmatic responses, the effect of fasting stress on conditioned histamine release was investigated in a guinea pig model of asthma. The animals were randomly divided into 2 groups for Experiment 1 and 2, and received a conditioning procedure in which ovalbumin (OA) as an unconditioned stimulus (US) and dimethylsulfide (DMS, sulfur smelling) as a conditioned stimulus (CS) were simultaneously inhaled after fasting for 16 h. Then, one group was given food as a reward for respiratory distress, and the other group was denied it for more than 3 h, while being placed in front of the feeding group. After this procedure was repeated 5 times, the plasma histamine levels in response to the CS were measured in half of each group in Experiment 1, and the respiratory resistance (Rrs) was assessed similarly in the other half of each group in Experiment 2. The same experiments were again performed after exchanging assignments of feeding group or fasting group in both experiments. The control groups in both experiments received the CS and the US 10 times separately in a random order under 16 h fasting conditions and were provided food after the exposures. After these pseudo-conditioning presentations, the plasma histamine levels or the Rrs in response to the CS were measured. In Experiment 1, the plasma histamine levels in the fasting stress group after the first conditioning sessions were significantly higher than those of the other groups. This difference was not observed when the groups were exchanged. In Experiment 2, the fasting stress group showed higher values in the Rrs compared to the other groups, irrespective of the first or second conditionings; however, they were not significant. The present study indicates that fasting stress after the conditioning procedures exacerbates the following conditioned histamine release, although the stress effect on bronchoconstriction was not confirmed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Bronchoconstriction / drug effects
  • Bronchoconstriction / physiology
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Food Deprivation / physiology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Histamine / blood
  • Histamine Release*
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Male
  • Ovalbumin / administration & dosage
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Ovalbumin / pharmacology
  • Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis / drug effects
  • Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis / immunology
  • Stress, Psychological* / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological* / metabolism
  • Sulfides / administration & dosage
  • Sulfides / immunology
  • Sulfides / pharmacology


  • Sulfides
  • Histamine
  • Ovalbumin
  • dimethyl sulfide