Histamine can be recovered from the blood of ragweed-sensitized dogs after aerosol antigen challenge, although its source is unknown. Neutrophils and eosinophils have been recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) obtained under identical conditions. We investigated the time course of changes in histamine levels in plasma and BALF taken from ragweed-sensitized dogs after aerosol challenge. Changes in the numbers of circulating neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, and platelets were also studied. After 3 min, total pulmonary resistance (RL) was maximally increased and systolic blood pressure was maximally decreased. Histamine levels in plasma and BALF were increased and circulating eosinophils and neutrophils were decreased. After 15 min, platelet numbers were reduced. By 90 min, changes in RL, blood pressure, plasma and BALF histamine concentrations, and circulating neutrophils and eosinophils had returned to base-line values, but platelet numbers remained significantly decreased. Sham challenge caused no significant changes in any of these variables. Intravenous administration of histamine in doses large enough to attain plasma levels comparable with those achieved after aerosol antigen challenge resulted in no concomitant rise in BALF histamine levels. We conclude that antigen challenge in sensitized dogs causes increases in BALF and plasma histamine levels and is associated with a reduction in circulating neutrophils, eosinophils, and platelets. It is likely that antigen causes airway mast cells to release mediators that move down a concentration gradient from the airways to the pulmonary circulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)