The effects of histamine and 4-methylhistamine (a selective H2-agonist) were studied on the isolated rat stomach fundus and rabbit aortic strips superfused with Krebs’ solution. The contraction induced by histamine was found to be mediated via mepyramine-sensitive H1, while the relaxation induced by the amine through metiamide-sensitive H2-receptors in both smooth muscles. Prior addition of metiamide to the superfusion medium caused an apparent dose-related potentiation in the response to histamine on the aortic strip but not on the stomach fundus strip. The relaxation produced by histamine on the aortic strip demonstrated when the muscle was pretreated with mepyramine and contracted by angiotensin II or serotonin. Metiamide competitively inhibited the relaxation induced by histamine but not by papaverine in both smooth muscles. 4-Methylhistamine produced only a relaxation in the rat stomach fundus which could be competitively inhibited by metiamide. This analog had no agonistic property in the aortic strip. From these results it was concluded that histamine H1- and H2-receptors are present in both smooth muscles. The predominant contractile effect of histamine is mediated through H1-receptors and the relaxing effect of the amine through H2-receptors.

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