Evidence of histamine-induced myocardial ischaemia: Reversal by chlorpheniramine and potentiation by atherosclerosis

C. A. Tozzi, S. G. Dorrell, Gary Merrill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Summary: The effects of histamine on coronary vasomotor tone and on myocardial blood flow distribution were studied in the anaesthetised rabbit in the absence of histamine H1-preceptor blockade and calcium channel blockade. Two groups of rabbits were used, those fed a normal diet and those fed a high cholesterol diet (2%) for 8 to 12 weeks. Continuous recordings of standard limb lead electrocardiograms (ECG) were obtained, and all animals were pretreated with cimetidine, an H2-receptor blocker, to minimise the intervening systemic effects of histamine. In the absence of H1-receptor blockade, histamine produced a marked (40 to 50%) reduction in coronary blood flow without significantly affecting other cardiovascular variables. This effect was seen uniformly across the free wall of the left ventricle, ie endo-epi flow ratios did not significantly change. Concomitant with the coronary vasoconstriction were significant depressions (≥0.1 mV) of the ECG ST-segment and elevation of cardiac tissue lactate and lactate:pyruvate ratio. These histamine-mediated responses were independently abolished by chlorpheniramine (1.5 mg·kg-1 iv) and verapamil (0.5 mg·kg-1 iv). Atherosclerosis reduced the average dose of histamine needed to induce these ischaemic changes from 55 ± 6 to 34 ± 6 μg·kg-1·min-1 (p<0.05). These findings suggest that in the H2-receptor blocked rabbit coronary vascular bed histamine causes tissue ischaemia by an H1-receptor mechanism. The decrement in myocardial blood flow appears to involve activation of plasma membrane calcium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-753
Number of pages10
JournalCardiovascular research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Coronary vasospasm
  • Histamine
  • Myocardial ischaemia


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