Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Oct 18;8(10):e78434. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078434. eCollection 2013.

Histamine from brain resident MAST cells promotes wakefulness and modulates behavioral states.

Author information

Sleep & Circadian Neurobiology Laboratory, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, United States of America ; Department of Integrative Physiology, Institute of Health Biosciences, the University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan.


Mast cell activation and degranulation can result in the release of various chemical mediators, such as histamine and cytokines, which significantly affect sleep. Mast cells also exist in the central nervous system (CNS). Since up to 50% of histamine contents in the brain are from brain mast cells, mediators from brain mast cells may significantly influence sleep and other behaviors. In this study, we examined potential involvement of brain mast cells in sleep/wake regulations, focusing especially on the histaminergic system, using mast cell deficient (W/W(v)) mice. No significant difference was found in the basal amount of sleep/wake between W/W(v) mice and their wild-type littermates (WT), although W/W(v) mice showed increased EEG delta power and attenuated rebound response after sleep deprivation. Intracerebroventricular injection of compound 48/80, a histamine releaser from mast cells, significantly increased histamine levels in the ventricular region and enhanced wakefulness in WT mice, while it had no effect in W/W(v) mice. Injection of H1 antagonists (triprolidine and mepyramine) significantly increased the amounts of slow-wave sleep in WT mice, but not in W/W(v) mice. Most strikingly, the food-seeking behavior observed in WT mice during food deprivation was completely abolished in W/W(v) mice. W/W(v) mice also exhibited higher anxiety and depression levels compared to WT mice. Our findings suggest that histamine released from brain mast cells is wake-promoting, and emphasizes the physiological and pharmacological importance of brain mast cells in the regulation of sleep and fundamental neurobehavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center