The role of the central nervous system in the development and course of anaphylaxis has received relatively little recent experimental attention.9,13 At the turn of the century, pioneer investigators considered the brain to be the target organ initiating the reaction, until experiments demonstrated components of the syndrome in the presence of decerebration and decapitation.1,20,21 Knowledge of the immunologic and biochemical aspects of anaphylaxis has since been extensively advanced, but neural factors in the syndrome remain to be delineated.
Closely resembling human asthma, anaphylactic shock in the guinea pig terminates in a relatively sudden respiratory death. The release of H substances (histamine, acetylcholine, or anaphylatoxin) in the antigen-antibody reaction results in bronchospasm. Autopsy reveals emphysematous lungs fixed in deep inspiration as a consequence of spasm, edema, and mucous exudate. Bronchospasm occurs in vitro in the presence of histamine. In the intact animal this reaction may be modified because the
FREEDMAN DX, FENICHEL G. Effect of Midbrain Lesion on Experimental Allergy. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(2):164–169. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340020044008
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