Histamine may be released from mast cells by mechanisms that do not require prior sensitization of the immune system. Drugs, high-molecular-weight proteins, venoms, and other substances that damage or disrupt cell membranes can induce the release of histamine. Any thermal or mechanical stress of sufficient intensity also will result in histamine release. Cytotoxic compounds, may release histamine as the result of disruption of cell membranes.
Drugs, particularly organic bases, may release hista-mine from mast cells by physically displacing the amine from its storage sites. Morphine, codeine, d-tubocu-rarine, guanethidine, and radiocontrast media can release histamine from mast cells. Basic polypeptides, such as bradykinin, neurotensin, substance P, somatostatin, polymyxin B, and the anaphylatoxins resulting from complement activation, also stimulate histamine release. Venoms often contain basic polypeptides as well as the histamine-releasing enzyme phospholipase A.
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