The role of histamine in neutrophil infiltration and vascular permeability response in carrageenin air pouch inflammation in rats was examined. Injection of carrageenin solution into an air pouch induced a gradual increase in histamine content in the pouch fluid and histidine decarboxylase activity of pouch wall tissues, with a maximum attained at 24 h. Local administration of the H2 antagonists cimetidine and famotidine, but not the H1 antagonist pyrilamine, induced an increase in neutrophil infiltration at 24 h. Both types of histamine antagonists failed to suppress the vascular permeability response. In addition, H2 antagonists attenuated the inhibitory effect of indomethacin on neutrophil infiltration without affecting the indomethacin-induced suppression of vascular permeability response. These results suggest that histamine produced in the inflammatory locus exerts a downward regulation of neutrophil infiltration through H2 receptors but does not play any significant role in the vascular permeability response. Furthermore, the inhibition by indomethacin of neutrophil infiltration might be ascribed to the increase in histamine level in the pouch fluid.
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