It has been shown that histamine induces early changes on endothelial cells (EC), such as a transient expression of P-selectin and secretion and/or surface expression of early mediators (eg, prostacyclin [PG1(2)], platelet-activating factor [PAF], and leukotriene B4 [LTB4]). However, delayed effects of histamine on EC and particularly on cytokine production are undefined. In this study, the effect of histamine on interleukin (IL)-8 production by EC was evaluated using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method and mRNA expression. The results showed that histamine increased the secretion and the mRNA expression of IL-8 by EC. Histamine-induced IL-8 production was (1) dose-dependent (at a dose > or = 10(-6) mol/L), (2) potentialized by costimulation with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, (3) inhibited by H1 or H2 histamine receptor antagonists, and (4) significantly increased 4 hours after the initial stimulation. These data suggest that histamine may be involved in the control of the late inflammatory reaction associated to allergic disorders through IL-8 secretion by EC.