Antigen-provoked increase in histamine reactivity. Observations on mechanisms

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Sep;144(3 Pt 1):642-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/144.3_Pt_1.642.


To investigate the effect of antigen provocation on nonspecific reactivity to histamine, nine allergic individuals underwent multiple nasal challenges with histamine, or antigen. The response to challenge was assessed by counting the number of sneezes and measuring the levels of albumin and TAME-esterase (TAME; [3H]N-alpha-tosyl-L-arginine methyl ester) activity in recovered nasal lavages. In the case of antigen, levels of histamine were also measured. In response to histamine, the subjects sneezed and had increased levels of albumin and TAME. The responses to antigen or histamine were unchanged 24 h after histamine provocation. The responses to histamine provocations were increased with respect to symptom scores and to the levels of TAME activity and albumin in nasal lavages compared to baseline challenge, however, 24 h after antigen provocation. Increasing antigen exposure from 1 to 3 days did not further increase the responsiveness to histamine. Histamine reactivity returned to baseline 12 days after antigen exposure. The number of eosinophils, neutrophils, and alcian blue-positive cells in the lavages after antigen challenge and before the histamine challenges correlated with the changes in response to histamine. The increase in sneezing induced by antigen stimulation correlated with the increase in the same parameter after histamine provocation 24 hr after antigen challenge (r = 0.88; p less than 0.01). Surprisingly, the other parameters assessed did not show similar correlations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Albumins / analysis
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Cell Count
  • Female
  • Histamine / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Nasal Mucosa / pathology
  • Nasal Provocation Tests*
  • Peptide Hydrolases / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / metabolism
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / pathology
  • Sneezing
  • Therapeutic Irrigation


  • Albumins
  • Antigens
  • Plant Extracts
  • Histamine
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • tosylarginine methyl ester hydrolase