Agents and Actions

, Volume 15, Issue 3–4, pp 229–234 | Cite as

Plasma histamine and hemodynamic responses following administration of nalbuphine and morphine

  • S. M. Muldoon
  • M. A. Donlon
  • R. Todd
  • E. A. Helgeson
  • W. Freas
Histamine and Kinins


A comparative study of plasma histamine levels following administration or morphine and nalbuphine in pentobarbital anesthetized dogs was performed. Two concentrations, 3 mg/kg and 0.3 mg/kg of these drugs were investigated. High dose morphine caused an immediate marked increase in plasma histamine from 5.0±0.4 to 340±72 ng/ml. Simultaneous with this increase in plasma histamine was a marked decrease in mean arterial blood pressure within the first minute. In contrast significant alterations in plasma histamine levels were not observed with high or low doses of nalbuphine. A low dose of morphine (0.3 mg/kg) did not increase plasma histamine levels. Heart rate was not changed by any drug treatment. The use of compound 48/80 a specific mast cell degranulating agent allowed for the identification of a specific pool of mast cells capable of responding to morphine.In vitro exposure of purified dog leukocytes to high doses of morphine did not result in histamine release. These results indicate that nalbuphine does not increase plasma histamine, while morphine does, and that the source of the increase in plasma histamine is from tissue mast cells.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Muldoon
    • 1
  • M. A. Donlon
    • 2
  • R. Todd
    • 1
  • E. A. Helgeson
    • 2
  • W. Freas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryArmed Forces Radiobiology Research InstituteBethesdaUSA

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