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J Neurochem. 2009 Sep;110(5):1469-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.06249.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22.

Activation of the histaminergic H3 receptor induces phosphorylation of the Akt/GSK-3 beta pathway in cultured cortical neurons and protects against neurotoxic insults.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiologiche, Universit√° di Firenze, Firenze, Italy.


Stimulation of histamine H(3) receptors (H(3)R) activates G(i/o)-proteins that inhibit adenylyl cyclase and triggers MAPK and phospholipase A(2). In a previous study, we showed that H(3)R-mediated phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 occurs in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons, but neither the downstream targets nor the function of such activation were explored. In this report we address these questions. Western blotting experiments showed that H(3)R-mediated activation of Akt in cultured rat cortical neurons was inhibited by LY 294004 and U0126, suggesting that it depends on phosphoinositide-3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase. H(3)R activation phosphorylated, hence inactivated, the Akt downstream effector glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, increased the expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 and protected cultured rat and mouse cortical neurons from neurotoxic insults in a dose-dependent manner. All these effects were inhibited by the H(3)R antagonist inverse/agonist thioperamide. Mouse cortical cells expressed H(3)R as revealed by immunostaining experiments, and stimulation of H(3)R phoshorylated Akt and decreased caspase 3 activity. Hence, we uncovered a yet unexplored action of the H(3)R that may help understand the impact of H(3)R signaling in the CNS.

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