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J Comp Neurol. 1988 Jul 15;273(3):283-300.

Organization of histaminergic fibers in the rat brain.

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Department of Pharmacology II, University Medical School, Osaka, Japan.


Detailed information on innervation of the histaminergic system in the brain is essential to an understanding of the physiological roles of this system. In a previous immunocytochemical study with antihistidine decarboxylase (HDC) antibody, we detected extensive networks of histaminergic fibers in many areas of the rat brain (Watanabe et al., '84). In the present study, we improved the immunocytochemical procedure and examined the detailed distribution of histaminergic innervation in the rat brain with anti-HDC antibody. As reported previously, the highest concentrations of fibers were found in the hypothalamic nuclei and medial forebrain bundle. With the modified procedure, we detected more dense networks of HDC-immunoreactive (HDCI) fibers. Furthermore, we demonstrated for the first time the existence of HDCI fibers in other regions, namely, the thalamic nuclei, median eminence, fimbria of the hippocampus, habenular nuclei, superior colliculus, nucleus of the optic tract, parabrachial nuclei, mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus, superior, lateral, and spinal vestibular nuclei, posterior lobe of the hypophysis, and vascular organ of the lamina terminalis. We also found dense transverse fibers in the retrochiasmatic area and supraoptic decussation, which suggests bilateral innervation of the histaminergic system. These results indicate that innervation of the rat brain by the histaminergic system is more extensive than observed previously.

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