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Neuroscience. 1996 Jan;70(1):145-58.

Histamine-induced prolonged depolarization in rat supraoptic neurons: G-protein-mediated, Ca(2+)-independent suppression of K+ leakage conductance.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside 92521, USA.


Ionic mechanisms responsible for histamine-induced prolonged depolarization in supraoptic nucleus neurons were investigated using whole-cell patch recordings in horizontally prepared brain slices from adult male rats. Bath application of histamine (1-10 microM) in control medium induced membrane depolarization in nine of 12 phasically firing, putative vasopressin cells, but not in continuous firing, putative oxytocin cells (none of five cells). Depolarization, usually accompanied by increased firing rate, started within 20 s after histamine reached the slices, lasting for 3-13 min, after which they repolarized, and this was repeatable upon washout. Chelation of intracellular Ca2+ with 11 mM 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetate and perfusion of slices with Ca(2+)-free medium blocked neither histamine-induced membrane depolarizations nor increased firing rates in 24 of 30 cells recorded. Depolarizations were always associated with decreases in membrane conductance. Following treatment with promethazine (H1 receptor antagonist) in six cells excited previously by histamine, subsequent application induced neither membrane depolarization nor increased firing. H1 receptor agonists mimicked histamine-induced depolarization (four of six cells) but the H2 receptor agonist, dimaprit (10 microM), had no effect (all of nine cells). In medium containing 0 mM Ca2+, 2 mM Co2+ and 1-2 microM tetrodotoxin, with internal Ca2+ chelation, bath application of histamine induced an apparent inward current in 15 of 20 supraoptic neurons tested. The peak of inward current evoked by 1-10 microM histamine at holding potentials around -50 mV varied from 10 to 50 pA (27.3 +/- 0.3 pA, mean +/- S.E.M.). Ramp voltage tests revealed that this inward current decreased as membrane potential was hyperpolarized and had a reversal potential of -90.1 +/- 3.8 mV (n = 10). Subtraction of current obtained before from that during histamine application revealed a current that was linear against membrane potential. Increasing external K+ concentration or introduction of K+ channel blockers in the medium attenuated or abolished histamine-induced inward current at membrane potentials close to -50 mV. When external Cl- concentration was reduced, histamine-induced inward current was still seen in five of seven supraoptic cells tested. Neither inward current nor change in conductance was observed following bath application of histamine in 11 of 12 neurons recorded using patch pipettes containing guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate), and in seven of eight neurons using pipettes containing guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate). These results suggest that histamine depolarizes supraoptic neurons, at least in part, by inhibiting a K+ leakage current mediated by H1 receptors linked to GTP-binding proteins and Ca(2+)-independent pathways. This study provides initial evidence for the second messengers regulating K+ leakage current.

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