• P. F. Mannaioni
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 97)


An early paper by Code (1937) describes histamine bioassays as “… methods involving as their final test one or more of the physiological responses to histamine to determine the tissue histamine equivalent”. Historically, the popularity of histamine determination by bioassays is twofold in origin, and stems from the favourable biological versus unfavourable chemical characteristics of histamine. Since its discovery (Dale and Laidlaw 1910), histamine has been found to be endowed with powerful biological effects, in contrast to its lack of useful light absorption or emission properties (Lewis et al. 1933). Consequently, satisfactory recovery for quantitative biological titration was possible, due to the high sensitivity of the final assays, while non-biological methods of measurement had to be based upon the properties of derivatives prepared by various chemical reactions, with unsatisfactory recovery for quantitative chemical titration.


Fluorimetric Assay Tissue Histamine Cardiac Anaphylaxis Plain Muscle Histamine Determination 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

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  • P. F. Mannaioni

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