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August 1961

A Histamine Analogue That Does Not Cause Itching

Author Affiliations


Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(2):290-292. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580140116014

Much of our knowledge about cutaneous vascular physiology stems from work with histamine. A variety of techniques have been utilized to investigate histamine-induced vasodilatation and whealing. Vascular studies with a very sensitive method in our laboratory have made it clear that itching, which frequently accompanies injection of histamine, has an untoward disruptive effect on delicate measurements. Accordingly, we sought a histamine-like compound devoid of pruritogenic activity.

A series of histamine analogues had already been prepared by Lee and Jones.1 One of these, betazole, had been shown to stimulate gastric secretion usually without causing undesirable effects in other organs.2 We injected this drug intradermally in a few subjects and observed good wheals and flares but no pruritus. The injections were repeated. Pruritus occurred only once in over 100 random observations. Wheals appeared unabated in size or fluid content; erythema was not inhibited. Experiments were designed to help clarify the