Web edition: November 19, 2010
Print edition: December 4, 2010; Vol.178 #12 (p. 4)
ASTHMA CLUE FROM HORSES — Research into the deaths of thoroughbred horses, especially foals, has produced an entirely new approach to the treatment of asthma, hay fever and skin troubles in human beings…. During the course of the investigation on horses, a substance was found in certain white cells in the horses’ blood that played an active part in the control of histamine, frequently the cause of surgical and accidental shock.… Earlier research work has shown that the effects of this excess were automatically reduced in the presence of white blood cells (leucocytes) known as eosinophils. This suggested that injections of eosinophils might be used to combat histamine.