The histamine content in the nasal epithelial layer of twenty-five patients with nasal allergy was measured before, 10 min after and 1 hr after nasal provocation with allergen. A decrease in histamine content was observed 10 min after provocation compared to the values obtained before provocation (P<0.05). There was a tendency for an increase in the histamine content of the nasal epithelium one hour after provocation when compared with the amounts present 10 min after provocation (P<0.1). Mast cells in the nasal epithelial layer of a further five patients were studied by electron microscopy 10 min and 1 hr after provocation. The rate of mast cell degranulation appeared to decrease 1 hr after provocation when compared with 10 min.
Our study suggests that some mast cells commence their migration to the nasal epithelial layer over a short time period and that they may play a role in the onset of the allergic nasal reaction in patients with allergic nasal symptoms.
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