The development of drugs that block the action of biological amines
This work followed from the earlier discovery by Dale and Loewi that nerve activity leads to the release of a chemical substance from the nerve terminal, which can affect bodily organs. Research showed that these substances, and many other compounds which had biological activity, were amines. For example, histamine is responsible for the symptoms of allergies. Bovet researched substances which blocked these amines. He successfully produced the first antihistamine and also drugs for use in research on neurotransmitter function. Through work on dogs and rabbits he developed a synthetic form of curare, which acts as a muscle relaxant by blocking the effects acetylcholine in muscles.