, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 447-453

The source and action of histamine in the isolated guinea-pig gallbladder

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We have investigated the effects of histamine on motility of the gallbladder and characterized the receptor types involved. Histamine and the histamine H1-receptor agonist, 2-thiazolylethylamine (2-TEA) contracted the isolated guinea-pig gallbladder strip in a dose dependent manner. The contractile response to histamine was shifted to the right by the H1-receptor antagonist, mepyramine. In pre-contracted gallbladder strips, the H2-receptor agonist dimaprit reduced the tension generated in a dose dependent fashion. The histamine H2-receptor antagonist, ranitidine shifted the histamine concentration effect curve to the left and attenuated the dose dependent relaxations elicited at high concentrations. The histamine H3-receptor agonist, (R)-α-methylhistamine (RMHA) elicited dose dependent contraction of the tissue which was significantly inhibited in the presence of mepyramine. The effects of electrical field stimulation (EFS) on the strips were not significantly altered by the presence of RMHA (10−10−10−7 M) indicating little pre-synaptic H3 activity in this tissue. Histamine immunoreactivity (IR) was detected in gallbladder whole mount preparations of the mucosa and the muscularis/serosa. The histamine IR appeared cell bound in cells of varying morphological characteristics but no IR was detected in nerve fibres or cell bodies (ganglia). Alcian blue staining was consistent with the distribution of histamine IR cells as mast cells. The results indicate that histamine is distributed in the guinea-pig gallbladder and it can regulate contractile activity via activation of H1 and H2 but not H3 receptors.