Histamine modulates thalamocortical activity by activating a chloride conductance in ferret perigeniculate neurons

Kendall H. Lee, Christian Broberger, Uhnoh Kim, David A. McCormick

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Abstract

In the mammalian central nervous system only γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine have been firmly linked to inhibition of neuronal activity through increases in membrane Cl- conductance, and these responses are mediated by ionotropic receptors. Iontophoretic application of histamine can also cause inhibitory responses in vivo, although the mechanisms of this inhibition are unknown and may involve pre- or postsynaptic factors. Here, we report that application of histamine to the GABAergic neurons of the thalamic perigeniculate nucleus (PGN), which is innervated by histaminergic fibers from the tuberomammillary nucleus of the hypothalamus, causes a slow membrane hyperpolarization toward a reversal potential of -73 mV through a relatively small increase in membrane conductance to Cl-. This histaminergic action appears to be mediated by the H2 subclass of histaminergic receptors and inhibits the single-spike activity of these PGN GABAergic neurons. Application of histamine to the PGN could halt the generation of spindle waves, indicating that increased activity in the tuberomammillary histaminergic system may play a functional role in dampening thalamic oscillations in the transition from sleep to arousal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6716-6721
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume101
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 27 2004

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