Effects of histamine on bronchial artery blood flow and bronchomotor tone

W. M. Long, C. L. Sprung, H. El Fawal, L. D. Yerger, P. Eyre, W. M. Abraham, A. Wanner

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33 Scopus citations


The effects of aerosolized 5% histamine (10 breaths) on bronchial artery blood flow (Qbr), airflow resistance (RL), and pulmonary and systemic hemodynamics were studied in mechanically ventilated sheep anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium. Histamine increased mean Qbr and RL to 252 ± 45 and 337 ± 53% of base line, respectively. This effect was significantly different from base line for 30 min after challenge. This histamine-induced increase in RL was blocked by pretreatment with the histamine H1 receptor antagonist, chlorpheniramine, whereas the histamine-induced elevation in Qbr was prevented by the H2 antagonist, metiamide. Both responses were blocked only when both antagonists were present. Changes in Qbr were not directly associated with alterations in systemic and pulmonary hemodynamics or arterial blood gas composition. In vitro histamine caused a dose-dependent contraction of ovine bronchial artery strips that was prevented by H1 antagonist. The H2 agonist, impromidine, caused relaxation of precontracted arterial strips and was more potent efficacious than histamine, whereas H1 agonists failed to elicit a relaxant response. Thus these findings indicate that 1) histamine aerosol induces a vasodilation in the bronchial vascular bed; 2) histamine has a direct effect on Qbr that is independent of alterations in Rl, systemic and pulmonary hemodynamics, or arterial blood gas composition; and, 3) histamine-induced bronchoconstriction is mediated predominantly by H1-receptors, whereas increased Qbr is controlled predominantly by H2-receptors, probably located in resistance vessels. This local effect of histamine on Qbr may have important implications in the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma and pulmonary edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-261
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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