Seven patients with bronchial asthma underwent bronchial inhalation challenge with aerosolized allergen extracts and methacholine. Simultaneously, venous blood samples were collected and histamine was measured. Each patient was challenged on successive days with an allergen extract to which he had no skin-sensitizing antibody (skin test-negative allergen), followed by methacholine and skin test-positive allergen. Bronchospasm was not induced by inhalation of skin test-negative allergens but was observed in all patients after methacholine and in the majority of patients after skin test-positive allergens. No changes in plasma histamine were detected after challenges with methacholine and skin test-negative allergens. After challenge with skin test-positive allergens, significant rises in plasma histamine were detected in 5 of 7 patients. Plasma histamine was elevated within the first 5 min after inhalation of aerosolized allergen, and elevations persisted as long as 30 min. These studies showing that histamine increases significantly in the plasma during allergen-induced asthma in man suggest that histamine should be considered as at least one of the mediators of bronchospasm in allergic asthma. Bronchospasm induced by the cholinergic drug methacholine, unlike allergen-induced bronchospasm, is not associated with changes in plasma histamine.