The immunologic release of histamine and slow reacting substance of anaphylaxis (SRS-A) from human lung tissue can be enhanced by stimulation with either alpha adrenergic agents (phenylephrine or norepinephrine in the presence of propranolol) or cholinergic agents (acetylcholine or Carbachol). The finding that atropine prevents cholinergic but not comparable alpha adrenergic enhancement is consistent with the view that cholinergic and alpha adrenergic agonists interact with separate receptor sites on the target cells involved in the immunologic release of chemical mediators. The consistent qualitative relationship between the antigen-induced release of mediators and the level of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) as measured by the isolation of 14C-labeled cyclic AMP after incorporation of adenine-14C into the tissues or by the cyclic AMP binding protein assay suggests that changes in the level of this cyclic nucleotide mediate adrenergic modulation of the release of histamine and SRS-A. The addition of 8-bromo-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cyclic GMP) produces an enhancement of the immunologic release of mediators while dibutyryl cyclic AMP is inhibitory. As cholinergic-induced enhancement was not associated with a measurable change in the levels of cyclic AMP, the possibility is suggested that cyclic GMP may be the intracellular mediator of cholinergic-induced enhancement of the immunologic release of histamine and SRS-A.

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