Agents and Actions

, Volume 14, Issue 3–4, pp 534–537 | Cite as

Histamine potentiates neuronal excitation by blocking a calcium-dependent potassium conductance

  • Helmut L. Haas
Histamine in the Central Nervous System


Histaminergic neurones send their axons to the whole forebrain. The diffuse projection is consistent with a modulatory role of these pathways. In hippocampal slices from rats a mechanism for this modulation is described, on pyramidal neurones of the CA 1 area: Strong excitations induced by intracellular current injection, ionophoretic administration of glutamate or synaptic stimulation normally restrict themselves by the activation of the calcium-dependent potassium current (gK(Ca)). This current causes a long lasting afterhyperpolarization and an accommodation of firing. Their block by histamine and impromidine (reversed by metiamide and cimetidine) leads to a profound potentiation of excitatory signals. It is suggested that HA, through H2 receptors, accelerates the removal of intracellular free Ca++ ions.


Glutamate Histamine Cimetidine Pyramidal Neurone Hippocampal Slice 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    M. Garbarg, G. Barbin, J. Feger andJ.-C. Schwartz,Histaminergic pathway in rat brain evidenced by lesions of the medial forebrain bundle, Science186, 833–835 (1974).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    H.W.M. Steinbusch andA.H. Mulder, Distribution of histamine-immunoreactivity in the central nervous system of the rat. InHandbook of Chemical Neuroanatomy (EdsA. Björklund andT. Hökfelt). 1982. In press.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    H.L. Haas andP. Wolf,Central actions of histamine, microelectrophoretic studies, Brain Res.122, 269–279 (1977).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    H.L. Haas,Histamine hyperpolarizes hippocampal neurones in vitro, Neurosci. Lett.22, 75–78 (1981).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    H.L. Haas andA. Konnerth,Histamine and noradrenaline decrease calcium-activated potassium conductance in hippocampal pyramidal cells, Nature302, 432–450 (1983).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    D.A. Brown andW.H. Griffith,Calcium-activated outward current in voltage-clamped hippocampal neurones of the guinea-pig, J. Physiol., Lond.337, 287–301 (1983).Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    H.L. Haas, B. Schaerer andM. Vosmansky,A simple perfusion chamber for the study of nervous tissue slices in vitro, J. Neurosci. Meth.,1, 323–325 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    D.V. Madison andR.A. Nicoll,Noradrenaline blocks accommodation of pyramidal cell discharge in the hippocampus, Nature299, 636–638 (1982).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    J.A. Flatman andJ.D.C. Lambert,Sustained extracellular potentials in the cat spinal cord during the microiontophoretic application of excitatory amino acids, J. Neurosci. Meth.1, 205–218 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    P. Andersen, S.H. Sundberg, O. Sveen andH. Wigström,Specific long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices, Nature226, 736–737 (1977).Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    M. Segal,Histamine modulates reactivity of hippocampal CA 3 neurons to afferent stimulation in vitro, Brain Res.213, 443–448 (1981).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    J.G.R. Jefferys andH.L. Haas,Synchronized bursting of CA 1 hippocampal pyramidal cells in the absence of synaptic transmission. Nature300, 448–450 (1982).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    J.P. Green, Histamine receptors in brain. InHandbook of Psychopharmacology, pp. 385–420 (EdsL. Iversen, S.D. Iversen andS.H. Snyder). Plenum 1983.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    J.-C. Schwartz, M. Garbarg andH. Pollard, Histaminergic transmission in brain. InHandbook of Physiology, in press (1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut L. Haas
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurochirurgische UniversitätsklinikZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations