Reduced Anaphylactic Responsiveness of Strain 2 Guinea Pigs

Lois Jane Heller, Jean F Regal

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5 Scopus citations


Strain 2 guinea pigs have been shown to have diminished anaphylactic responsiveness. In the present study, experiments were conducted comparing various characteristics of the anaphylaxis-resistant Strain 2 guinea pigs to those of an outbred anaphylaxis-prone Dunkin-Hartley strain. To bypass the possibility that differences in antibody titers accounted for the difference in anaphylactic reactivity, both strains of guinea pig were passively sensitized with the same amount of IgG antibody to ovalbumin. Measures of anaphylactic responsiveness to subsequent antigen challenge with ovalbumin included (i) systemically induced respiratory responses; (ii) isolated cardiac responses; and (iii) cutaneous responses. In all cases, using an amount of antibody sufficient to sensitize Dunkin-Hartley guinea pigs, the anaphylactic responses of the Strain 2 guinea pigs were either nonexistent or significantly less than those of the Dunkin-Hartley strain. To further determine which factors might be responsible for this difference, tissue histamine content, histamine releasability, and histamine responsiveness of the two strains were measured. The results of these studies indicated that the respiratory hyporesponsiveness of the Strain 2 guinea pigs may be due to a low pulmonary histamine content combined with reduced pulmonary responsiveness to histamine. However, since the cardiac histamine content and the responsiveness of the Strain 2 guinea pigs were not different from those of the Dunkin-Hartley strain, these factors cannot contribute to the reduced Strain 2 cardiac anaphylactic responsiveness. Compound 48/80 released equal quantities of histamine from the isolated hearts of the Strain 2 and the Dunkin-Hartley animals, but antigen challenge evoked histamine release only from the isolated Dunkin-Hartley hearts. We conclude that the cardiac anaphylactic hyporesponsiveness of the Strain 2 guinea pigs may be due to an inability of antigen to evoke release of anaphylactic mediators such as histamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)838-845
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1991


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