Effect of histamine on the development of astroglial cells in culture

Jose Rodriguez, Julio Moran, Isaac Blanco, Ambrish J. Patel

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25 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of histamine on different aspects of the growth of astrocytes was studied using primary cultures derived either from forebrain or from cerebellum of the rat. The influence on general growth and differentiation was monitored in terms of the activities of ornithine decarboxylase and glutamine synthetase enzymes, whereas [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA was used as a specific index of cell proliferation. Treatment with 500 nM histamine of cells grown for 6 days in vitro, caused a time-dependent significant increase in ornithine decarboxylase activity of astrocytes from both sources. The maximum increase was observed at 4 h after histamine treatment, at that time the elevation in ornithine decarboxylase activity being about 80% and 300% over control values in the forebrain and the cerebellar astrocytes, respectively. Under similar experimental conditions, addition of histamine (500 nM) to medium resulted in a significant increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA in both types of cultures: in comparison with control, the elevation was about 45% at 48 h in forebrain astrocytes and at 24 h in cerebellar astrocytes. On the other hand, the specific activity of glutamine synthetase in cerebellar astrocytes was markedly enhanced (about 100%) by treatment with histamine (500 nM) for 4 days, but forebrain astrocytes were little affected. Addition of histamine to the culture medium produced no significant alteration in the activity of lactate dehydrogenase and protein content of either type of astroglial cells. The present findings, which support our earlier proposal that the biochemical properties of astrocytes differ between various brain regions, provide direct evidence for the involvement of histamine in the regulation of growth and development of astrocytes. © 1989 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-700
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1989


  • Astrocyte cultures
  • astrocyte proliferation
  • development
  • glutamine synthetase
  • histamine
  • ornithine decarboxylase


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