Kinetic and pharmacological properties of [3H]-histamine transport into cultured type 1 astrocytes from neonatal rats


Objective and design:

Astrocytes actively participate in the inactivation of neurotransmitters. In this work we elucidated the contribution of astrocytes in clearance of histamine, a process which has not yet been fully clarified.


The characteristics of [3H]-histamine uptake were determined in cultured neonatal rat type 1 astrocytes and histamine-N-methyl-transferase expression was determined using RT-PCR.


These cells transport [3H]-histamine in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. The histamine clearance by astrocytes was described by a mathematical model including two processes: electrodiffusion and active transport. A further analysis of kinetic parameters of a carrier-operated transport revealed a single transport system with Michaelis constant (Km) of 3.5 ± 0.8 μM and a maximal uptake rate (Vmax) of 7.9 ± 0.3 pmol/mg protein/min. From drugs tested amitriptyline, desipramine, mepyramine and cimetidine significantly decreased [3H]-histamine uptake. Taken-up histamine could be metabolically degraded in cultured astrocytes, since they express mRNA for enzyme histamine-N-methyltransferase.


Astrocytes participate in the clearance of extracellular histamine by electrodiffusion and active transport by a yet not identified carrier. Taken up histamine can be converted to tele-methylhistamine within astrocytes thus indicating the involvement of astrocytes not only in clearance but also in the inactivation of histamine.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. Kržan.

Additional information

Received 24 November 2007; returned for revision 4 January 2008; received from final revision 22 May 2008; accepted by A. Falus 3 November 2008

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Osredkar, D., Burnik-Papler, T., Pečavar, B. et al. Kinetic and pharmacological properties of [3H]-histamine transport into cultured type 1 astrocytes from neonatal rats. Inflamm. Res. 58, 94–102 (2009).

Download citation


  • Histamine
  • Histamine uptake
  • Histamine electrodiffusion
  • Astrocyte
  • Rat