Letter | Published:

5-Hydroxytryptamine and Anaphylactic Shock

Naturevolume 180page1417 (1957) | Download Citation



IT is generally accepted that histamine plays an important part in anaphylactic shock. In recent years, attention has been directed to 5-hydroxytryptamine, since this substance, together with histamine, is liberated from the platelets by the antigen–antibody reaction1. Further, 5-hydroxytryptamine causes a shock syndrome in guinea pigs which is similar to that caused by anaphylaxis2. Although Herxheimer was unable to protect guinea pigs from anaphylactic shock using lysergic acid diethylamide, a potent and specific antagonist of 5-hydroxytryptamine, Pallotta and Ward3 have observed significant protection using intravenous doses of lysergic acid diethylamide.

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  1. 1

    Humphrey and Jaques, J. Physiol., 128, 9 (1955).

  2. 2

    Herxheimer, J. Physiol., 128, 435 (1955).

  3. 3

    Pallotta and Ward, J. Pharmacol., 119, 174 (1957).

  4. 4

    Fink, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol., 92, 673 (1956).

  5. 5

    Brocklehurst, Symposium on 5-Hydroxytryptamine, London, April 1–2, 1957.

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  1. Dept. of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London, W.C.1.

    • R. K. SANYAL
    •  & G. B. WEST


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