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Activation of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons following central administration of histamine is mediated by H1 receptors.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.


The effect of intracerebroventricular administration of histamine on the activity of mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA) neurons was determined in male rats. The activity of these neurons was estimated by measuring: (1) the accumulation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) after administration of a decarboxylase inhibitor, and (2) the concentration of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) in the nucleus accumbens and striatum, which contain the terminals of these neurons. Central administration of histamine increased both DOPA accumulation and DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens, but was without effect in the striatum. The increase in DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens occurred within 10 min and was sustained for at least 120 min. The H1 antagonist mepyramine blocked whereas the H2 antagonist zolantidine did not affect histamine-induced increases in DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens. Neither mepyramine nor zolantidine affected basal DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens. These results indicate that central administration of histamine stimulates mesolimbic DA neurons through an action at the H1 receptor, but has no effect upon the activity of nigrostriatal DA neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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