The mechanism by which an intra-uterine device in one horn of the rat uterus prevents implantation in that horn is not known. It has been suggested that histamine has a role to play in the implantation of the fertilized ovum (Shelesnyak, 1952). Shelesnyak, Kraicer & Zeilmaker (1963) have indicated that on the latter part of the 3rd day after successful mating in rats there is an oestrogenic upsurge which triggers off histamine release and this is essential for successful implantation. It has been known for a long time that there is a correlation between the histamine content of a tissue and the mast cell count (Riley & West, 1953). Mast cells have been demonstrated in the uterine tissue of golden hamsters (Harvey, 1964), guinea-pigs (Iversen, 1962), ferrets (Buchanan, 1966) and
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