Histamine

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Histamine And Antihistaminics

Histamine, meaning ‘tissue amine’ (histos— tissue) is almost ubiquitously present in animal tissues and in certain plants, e.g. stinging nettle. Its pharmacology was studied in detail by Dale in the beginning of the 20th century when close parallelism was noted between its actions and the manifestations of certain allergic reactions.


HISTAMINE

 

Histamine, meaning ‘tissue amine’ (histos— tissue) is almost ubiquitously present in animal tissues and in certain plants, e.g. stinging nettle. Its pharmacology was studied in detail by Dale in the beginning of the 20th century when close parallelism was noted between its actions and the manifestations of certain allergic reactions. It was implicated as a mediator of hypersensitivity phenomena and tissue injury reactions. It is now known to play important physiological roles.

 

Histamine is present mostly within storage granules of mast cells. Tissues rich in histamine are skin, gastric and intestinal mucosa, lungs, liver and placenta. Nonmast cell histamine occurs in brain, epidermis, gastric mucosa and growing regions. Turnover of mast cell histamine is slow, while that of nonmast cell histamine is fast.

 

Histamine is also present in blood, most body secretions, venoms and pathological fluids.

 

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