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J Neurochem. 2007 Oct;103(1):248-58. Epub 2007 Jul 10.

The Akt/GSK-3beta axis as a new signaling pathway of the histamine H(3) receptor.

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Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Drugs targeting the histamine H(3) receptor (H(3)R) are suggested to be beneficial for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The H(3)R activates G(i/o)-proteins to inhibit adenylyl cyclase activity and modulates phospholipase A(2) and MAPK activity. Herein we show that, in transfected SK-N-MC cells, the H(3)R modulates the activity of the Akt/Glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta) axis both in a constitutive and agonist-dependent fashion. H(3)R stimulation with the H(3)R agonist immepip induces the phosphorylation of both Ser473 and Thr308 on Akt, a serine/threonine kinase that is important for neuronal development and function. The H(3)R-mediated activation of Akt can be inhibited by the H(3)R inverse agonist thioperamide, and by Wortmannin, LY294002 and PTX, suggesting the observed Akt activation occurs via a G(i/o)-mediated activation of phosphoinositide-3-kinase. H(3)R activation also results in the phosphorylation of Ser9 on GSK-3beta, which acts downstream of Akt and has a prominent role in brain function. In addition, we show the H(3)R-mediated phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 to occur in primary rat cortical neurons and in rat brain slices. The discovery of this signaling property of the H(3)R adds new understanding to the roles of histamine and the H(3)R in brain function and pathology.

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