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

Histamine stimulates c-fos expression in hypothalamic vasopressin-, oxytocin-, and corticotropin-releasing hormone-containing neurons.

The stimulatory action of centrally administered histamine (HA) on secretion of the anterior pituitary hormones ACTH, beta-endorphin, and PRL is indirect, and previous studies have suggested that hypothalamic neurons containing CRH, arginine vasopressin (AVP), and oxytocin (OT) are involved in this response. We studied the effect of HA on neuronal activation in the hypothalamus by investigating the expression of c-fos, which is a protooncogene activated early when neurons are stimulated. The expression of c-fos was evaluated by detection of c-fos immunoreactivity (c-fos-IR) using immunohistochemistry and by measurement of c-fos mRNA using in situ hybridization techniques. In addition, the identity of the HA-stimulated neurons was investigated by dual antigen immunohistochemistry visualizing AVP-, OT-, or CRH-IR in the neurons showing increased c-fos expression. HA (270 nmol) infused intracerebroventricularly increased c-fos-IR in the hypothalamus, especially in the periventricular hypothalamic areas and certain hypothalamic nuclei, including the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON). c-fos-immunoreactive nuclei were observed throughout the SON, whereas in the PVN, c-fos-IR was particularly pronounced in the subnuclei known to contain AVP, OT, and CRH neurons. Double labeling experiments confirmed that c-fos was expressed in AVP-, OT-, and CRH-immunoreactive as well as other neurons. In addition, HA intracerebroventricularly induced a moderate expression of c-fos-IR in the arcuate nucleus. In situ hybridization showed increased levels of c-fos mRNA in both the PVN and SON after HA infusion. We conclude that HA-induced secretion of ACTH, beta-endorphin, and PRL may be mediated via activation of hypothalamic AVP, OT, and CRH neurons.[1]


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