Antigen-induced histamine release from sensitized cardiac tissue has been shown to contribute significantly to the increases in atrial rate, atrioventricular nodal conduction, and ventricular contractile force that occur during cardiac anaphylaxis. These findings suggest that there might be a strong negative correlation between changes in these variables and the residual histamine content in the tissue after the anaphylactic reaction. In the present study using isolated hearts of passively sensitized guinea pigs, antigen challenge evoked transient increases in atrial automaticity, P-R intervals, vascular resistance, and left ventricular pressure. The histamine content of atrial and ventricular tissue from antigen-challenged hearts (1, 475 ±296 and 4, 543 ±360 ng/g, respectively) was significantly less than that of nonchallenged hearts (2, 652 ±335 and 6, 298 ±251 ng/g, respectively). Significant correlations found were between the residual histamine content of the ventricular tissue or the total histamine released and the magnitude of the antigen-induced increase in left ventricular systolic pressure. These findings suggest that antigen-induced increases in left ventricular systolic pressure can be used as an index of the local ventricular histamine release. The lack of significant correlations between local residual histamine levels and changes in atrial rate, P-R intervals, or coronary vascular resistance suggests that complicated interactions between histamine and other mediators or factors may be involved in the antigen-induced chronotropic, dromotropic, and vasoconstrictive alterations in these preparations.
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