We have studied the leukocyte-dependent mechanism of histamine release (LDHR) from rabbit platelets, a complement-independent mechanism which has been implicated in the deposition of immune complexes in acute serum sickness of rabbits. It was found by chromatography and passive transfer of serum from immunized rabbits that the antibody responsible for the LDHR was of IgE type. By electron microscope study of the reaction, the leukocyte involved in agglutination of platelets and release of their histamine content was identified as the basophil. Upon addition of antigen, basophils sensitized with IgE degranulated, released their histamine content and a platelet-activating factor (PAF) that caused aggregation of platelets and release of their histamine. Conditions of preparing and preserving PAF activity and some properties of this factor have been elucidated. LDHR must, therefore, be considered as an immediate hypersensitivity-type mechanism which may link allergic reactions with immunologic disease associated with severe structural injury.

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