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Neurosci Lett. 1990 Feb 16;109(3):287-92.

Histamine depolarizes rat medial vestibular nucleus neurons recorded intracellularly in vitro.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77550.


The effects of histamine (HA) on the resting membrane potential and input resistance of rat medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons were investigated using intracellular recording techniques from a submerged brain slice preparation. The exogenous application of HA predominantly produced a concentration-dependent membrane depolarization and induction of action potential firing. The depolarization exhibited a rapid onset, a slow recovery, and usually occurred in the absence of any apparent change in conductance. These effects of HA could be mimicked by the H2-agonist impromidine and were reversibly blocked by the H2-antagonist cimetidine. Tetrodotoxin (TTX) or low calcium/high magnesium-containing media failed to block completely the HA-induced depolarization supporting a direct postsynaptic receptor mediated action of HA. The diminished HA-induced depolarization observed following pretreatment with TTX cannot exclude an additional presynaptic action by HA. The present findings reveal that HA exerts a novel direct excitation of rat MVN neurons through an H2-receptor.

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