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Agents Actions. 1977 Mar;7(1):1-12.

H1 - and H2-receptor mediated responses to histamine on contractility and cyclic AMP of atrial and papillary muscles from guinea-pig hearts.


On guinea-pig heart we investigated whether cyclic AMP serves as a messenger for H1 - and/or H2-mediated responses to histamine. (1) On papillary muscle histamine elicited positive inotropic responses which were antagonized by burimamide but not by promethazine. The stimulation of H2-receptors was not only associated with an increase in contractility but also with an increase in cAMP. As shown by the time course of effects for 10(-5) M histamine, the maximal increase in cAMP preceded the maximum in contractility. The mechanical and biochemical responses to histamine were potentiated by the phosphodiesterase inhibitor papaverine, but antagonized by burimamide. (2) On the left guinea-pig atrium containing H1-receptors the inotropic response to histamine (10(-5) M) was not accompanied by increases in cAMP at stimulation frequencies of 0.5 and 2 Hz, respectively. In addition, in the presence of papaverine (3 X 10 (-5) M) no change in the cyclic AMP level occurred after application of histamine. Papaverine by itself, however, concomitantly increased contractility and cyclic AMP at a stimulation frequency of 0.5 Hz. In contrast, at 2 Hz papaverine increased only cAMP leaving the contractility unchanged. At this frequency the well-known Ca2+-antagonistic effect comes into prominence, thus masking the positive inotropic effect attributable to the inhibition of the phosphodiesterase. (3) On the right guinea-pig atrium the mediation of the positive chronotropic response to histamine by H2-receptors which is partly involved in the inotropic effect via the frequency-force relationship does not lead to a concomitant increase in cAMP. Also, in the presence of papaverine, histamine had no influence on the cAMP. However, papaverine potentiated the cardioacceleration produced by histamine. Although it is very likely that the cAMP in the sinus node rises, we were not able to detect an increase in cAMP in the whole atrial tissue. From the present results the conclusion can be drawn that the mediation of the inotropic effect due to stimulation of H2-receptors by histamine is associated with an increase of cyclic AMP, whereas that of H1-receptors is not. The view that cAMP may be the second messenger in the chronotropic action of histamine needs further elucidation by experiments on sino-atrial cells.

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