The effects of butyl 3'-(1H-tetrazol-5-yl)oxanilate (WP-833), a new antiallergic drug, on its ability to inhibit histamine release from both peritoneal mast cells and lung fragments of rats were investigated. WP-833 inhibited in a dose-dependent fashion immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated histamine release from mast cells. Such potent inhibition was observed in glucose-free as well as complete Tyrode's solution but neither in Ca2+-free nor D2O-supplemented Tyrode's solution. In addition, WP-833 significantly increased intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) levels in purified mast cells. On the other hand, WP-833 inhibited compound 48/80-but not calcium ionophore A23187-induced histamine release from normal mast cells. Also both IgE- and IgG-mediated histamine release from lung fragments were inhibited by WP-833. WP-833 showed non-competitive inhibition of cyclic AMP-dependent phosphodiesterase derived from lung preparations.