Haemophilus influenzae and its extracellular products (EP) did not release histamine in leukocyte suspensions from normal individuals. However, the EP were found to enhance basophil histamine release triggered by anti-IgE and by the calcium ionophore A23187. Experiments with EP indicate that it is the content of endotoxins which is responsible for the potentiating effect. Removal of endotoxin from the EP thus completely abolished the potentiating effect, whereas inactivation of its protease and proteins by heat-treatment or by proteinase K did not change the potentiation. A reinforcement of mediator release by the extracellular products of H. influenzae might play a pathophysiological role in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.