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[Recent advances in neuropsychopharmacology of the central histaminergic neuron system]

T Watanabe, K Onodera
Yakubutsu, Seishin, Kōdō, Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology 1991, 11 (2): 105-21
Recent immunohistochemical studies have shown the distribution of histaminergic neurons in the mammalian brain, which are concentrated in the tuberomammillary nucleus of the posterior hypothalamus and project efferent fibers to almost all parts of the brain from the olfactory bulb to the spinal cord. Histaminergic neurons co-express other neuroactive substances, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid, adenosine, substance P, galanin and Met-enkephalin-Arg-Phe. In addition, pharmacological studies have demonstrated the presence of presynaptic histamine H3-receptors (autoreceptor) in addition to H1- and H2-receptors. The specific agonist (alpha-methylhistamine) and antagonist (thioperamide) of H3-receptors were developed. Results from a number of studies indicate a variety of physiological roles of neuronal histamine such as thermoregulation, feeding behavior, sexual activity, sleep-wakefulness cycle, hormonal regulation and so on. Moreover, histaminergic drugs affect not only the emotional behavior, but also are effective to treat some patients of depression, Parkinson's disease, akathisia, motion sickness and so on. The central histaminergic neuron system is also affected by mental disorders and neuropsychopharmacological drugs. This review especially focused on these points and suggests that the central histaminergic neuron system may play an important role in the regulation of mental functions.


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