Volume 34, Issue. 6, December, 2018

Histamine Excites Rat GABAergic Ventral Pallidum Neurons via Co-activation of H1 and H2 Receptors

Miao-Jin Ji• Xiao-Yang Zhang• Xiao-Chun Peng• Yang-Xun Zhang• Zi Chen • Lei Yu*• Jian-Jun Wang• Jing-Ning Zhu*

State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Department of Physiology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China


The ventral pallidum (VP) is a crucial component of the limbic loop of the basal ganglia and participates in the regulation of reward, motivation, and emotion. Although the VP receives afferent inputs from the central histaminergic system, little is known about the effect of histamine on the VP and the underlying receptor mechanism. Here, we showed that histamine, a hypothalamic-derived neuromodulator, directly depolarized and excited the GABAergic VP neurons which comprise a major cell type in the VP and are responsible for encoding cues of incentive salience and reward hedonics. Both postsynaptic histamine H1 and H2 receptors were found to be expressed in the GABAergic VP neurons and co-mediate the excitatory effect of histamine. These results suggested that the central histaminergic system may actively participate in VP-mediated motivational and emotional behaviors via direct modulation of the GABAergic VP neurons. Our findings also have implications for the role of histamine and the central histaminergic system in psychiatric disorders.


Ventral pallidum; Histamine; H1 receptor; H2 receptor; Motivation; Emotion


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