We have examined the effect of succinic acid on anaphylaxis. Succinic acid (100 mM) significantly inhibited systemic anaphylaxis induced by compound 48/80 in mice, and dose-dependently inhibited local anaphylaxis activated by anti-dinitrophenyl IgE. Further 10 and 100 mM significantly inhibited histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells activated by compound 48/80 or anti-dinitrophenyl IgE. In addition succinic acid (0.1 and 1 mM) had a significant inhibitory effect on anti-dinitrophenyl IgE-induced tumour necrosis factor-α secretion from rat peritoneal mast cells. The level of cyclic AMP in rat peritoneal mast cells, when succinic acid (100 mM) was added, transiently and significantly increased about 4 times compared with that of basal cells. These results suggest a possible use of succinic acid in managing mast cell-dependent anaphylaxis.