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Agents Actions. 1987 Oct;22(1-2):50-8.

A pharmacologic study on the histamine releasing effect of atracurium and other muscle relaxants in rat isolated ileum.

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Anaesthetics Unit, London Hospital Medical College, Whitechapel, U.K.


In this study, the effects of histamine, antihistamines (terfenadine and mepyramine), 5-hydroxytryptamine, and muscle relaxants, atracurium, vecuronium and gallamine, on the tone and contractility of rat ileum were studied and compared in vitro. The aim of the present investigation was to measure, pharmacologically, the histamine releasing effect of muscle relaxants, e.g atracurium, vecuronium and gallamine, by comparing their contractile response in the absence and presence of antihistamines and comparing their mechanical responses with those produced by histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). The results showed that the antihistamines, triludan(terfenadine) and mepyramine produced opposite effects in rat ileum. Terfenadine (0.1-20 microM) produced concentration-dependent contractions in the rat ileum, whereas mepyramine (0.1-10 microM) relaxed the muscle, e.g. by 1.2 g tension. Atracurium (0.5-500 microM), vecuronium (0.2-200 microM), and gallamine (0.1-7.0 microM) produced marked contractions (1.5-4.0 g tension) in rat ileum, and these contractions were markedly reduced by mepyramine (1.3 microM) or terfenadine (5 microM), implicating histamine release in the generation of these contractions. However, there was some residual contraction which was not blocked by mepyramine, but by 5-HT antagonist, methysergide (1 microM), indicating that a mechanism other than histamine release may be responsible for the residual contraction, i.e. release of other mediators such as 5-HT, prostaglandins, or calcium. 5-HT (0.5-500 microM) and histamine (0.5-500 microM) produced contractions in the rat ileum, but 5-HT was more effective than histamine in producing these contractions. Similarly, gall amine was more effective than atracurium and vecuronium in contracting the rat ileum.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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