A naturally occurring opioid peptide from cow's milk, beta-casomorphine-7, is a direct histamine releaser in man

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1992;97(2):115-20. doi: 10.1159/000236106.


beta-Casomorphine-7, a naturally occurring product of cow's milk with opiate-like activity, was studied for possible direct histamine liberation activities in humans. It was found to cause concentration-dependent in vitro histamine release from peripheral leukocytes of healthy adult volunteers. Intradermal injection of beta-casomorphine-7 induced a wheal and flare reaction in the skin similar to histamine or codeine. Oral pretreatment with the H1 antagonist terfenadine significantly inhibited the skin responses to beta-casomorphine-7. The intradermal injection of an opiate receptor antagonist, naloxone, inhibited in vitro histamine release and skin reactions only in a 100-fold excess over beta-casomorphine-7. These findings suggest that beta-casomorphine-7 can be regarded as a noncytotoxic, direct histamine releaser in humans. The clinical relevance of these findings deserves further studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Codeine / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endorphins / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Histamine Release / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intradermal
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naloxone / pharmacology
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology*
  • Skin Tests


  • Endorphins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Naloxone
  • beta-casomorphin 7
  • Codeine