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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of betahistine on the spatiotemporal response properties of vestibulospinal neurons to labyrinthine volleys.

Betahistine, a drug used in the treatment of vestibular disorders, speeds-up the recovery from hemilabyrinthectomy in experimental animals, likely through the activation of histamine receptors. In order to better understand the mechanism of action of this drug we investigated, in adult, urethane anesthetized rats, whether betahistine modifies the spatial (directional) and temporal response properties of vestibular nuclear neurons to the labyrinthine input, as well as the convergence of different labyrinthine signals on single units. Extracellular single-unit activity was recorded from the caudal, spinal-projecting region of the vestibular nuclei during tilt of the animal, before and after i.p. injection of betahistine. The two orthogonal directions of maximal and minimal response to tilt, as well as the corresponding gains were determined for each neuron. Betahistine reduced the maximal response gain of units showing larger basal values of this parameter and increased it in neurons with smaller basal values, while the minimal response gain was on the average raised. These changes led to a significant decrease in the spatial specificity of the neurons, suggesting that betahistine affects the process of spatiotemporal convergence on vestibular units, likely through a rearrangement of the various inputs. This could be related to the effect of the drug on vestibular compensation.[1]


  1. Effects of betahistine on the spatiotemporal response properties of vestibulospinal neurons to labyrinthine volleys. Barresi, M., Bruschini, L., Li Volsi, G., Manzoni, D. Eur. J. Pharmacol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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