The effects of prostaglandin E1, E2, F2alpha (PGE2 PGF2alpha), isoproterenol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, salbutamol, practolol, atropine, aminophylline, and corticosterone on the hypersensitivity to anaphylaxis, histamine, and serotonin in Bordetella pertussis-treated mice and propranolol-treated mice were investigated. Female HLA-SW (ICR) mice, 27-29 gm, were injected with pertussis vaccine intravenously 4 days before challenge with antigen, histamine, or serotonin. Alternatively, instead of pertussis vaccine, propranolol was injected intraperitoneally 45 min before histamine challenge. Test drugs were administered intraperitoneally 15 min before challenge. PGE1 and PGE2 at a narrow range of between 10 and 100 mug and epinephrine at 100 mug protected both pertussis- and propranolol-treated mice. Isoproterenol (25 mug) and aminophilline (800 mug) protected beta-blocked mice, but did not protect pertussis-treated mice even with very high doses (1,000 and 3,2000 mug, respectively), although salbutamol (500 mug) did. PGF2alpha, norepinephrine, and atropine were not protective at all. Practolol, a beta 1-blocker, given intraperitoneally 30 min before histamine neither sensitized normal mice nor changed the effect of isoproterenol or salbutamol in pertussis-treated mice. Corticosterone 10 mg/kg reduced the number of deaths from histamine in beta-blocked mice, but not in pertussis-treated mice. The protective effect is discussed in connection with probable effects of the drugs on intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels.