Activation of histamine type 2 receptors enhances intrinsic excitability of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens

Simona Nanni, Marcello D'Ascenzo, Claudio Grassi, Giuseppe Aceto, Luca Nardella, Valeria Pecci, Alessia Bertozzi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

Abstract

Abstract: Histaminergic neurons are exclusively located in the hypothalamic tuberomammillary nucleus, from where they project to many brain areas including the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain area that integrates diverse monoaminergic inputs to coordinate motivated behaviours. While the NAc expresses various histamine receptor subtypes, the mechanisms by which histamine modulates NAc activity are still poorly understood. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we found that pharmacological activation of histamine 2 (H2) receptors elevates the excitability of NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs), while activation of H1 receptors failed to significantly affect MSN excitability. The evoked firing of MSNs increased after seconds of local H2 agonist administration and remained elevated for minutes. H2 receptor (H2R) activation accelerated subthreshold depolarization in response to current injection, reduced the latency to fire, diminished action potential afterhyperpolarization and increased the action potential half-width. The increased excitability was protein kinase A-dependent and associated with decreased A-type K+ currents. In addition, selective pharmacological inhibition of the Kv4.2 channel, the main molecular determinant of A-type K+ currents in MSNs, mimicked and occluded the increased excitability induced by H2R activation. Our results indicate that histaminergic transmission in the NAc increases MSN intrinsic excitability through H2R-dependent modulation of Kv4.2 channels. Activation of H2R will significantly alter spike firing in MSNs in vivo, and this effect could be an important mechanism by which these receptors mediate certain aspects of goal-induced behaviours. Key points: Histamine is synthesized and released by hypothalamic neurons of the tuberomammillary nucleus and serves as a general modulator for whole-brain activity including the nucleus accumbens. Histamine receptors type 2 (HR2), which are expressed in the nucleus accumbens, couple to Gαs/off proteins which elevate cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels and activate protein kinase A. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that H2R activation increased the evoked firing in medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens via protein kinase A-dependent mechanisms. HR2 activation accelerated subthreshold depolarization in response to current injection, reduced the latency to fire, diminished action potential medium after-hyperpolarization and increased the action potential half-width. HR2 activation also reduced A-type potassium current. Selective pharmacological inhibition of the Kv4.2 channel mimicked and occluded the increased excitability induced by H2R activation.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2225-2243
Numero di pagine19
RivistaTHE JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022

Keywords

  • A-type potassium current
  • H2 receptor
  • nucleus accumbens
  • intrinsic excitability
  • Kv4.2
  • histamine

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