The central histamine level in rat model of vascular dementia

A. Stasiak, M. Mussur, M. Unzeta, D. Lazewska, K. Kiec-Kononowicz, W. A. Fogel

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The histaminergic system plays an important role in memory and learning. Deficient histaminergic transmission in the human brain in vascular dementia (VD) has been suggested. To get a better insight into the problem, a rat model of VD based on permanent bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries (BCCAO) leading to chronic cerebral hypoperfusion was used. Prior to the BCCAO, male Wistar rats underwent 7 days training and only those animals that positively passed the holeboard memory test were chosen for the study. The rats which were operated on were injected i.p. daily for 6 days with either a monoamine oxidase B inhibitor - PF9601N (40 mg/kg), an acetycholinesterase inhibitor - tacrine (3 mg/kg), a histamine H3 receptor blocker - DL76 (6 mg/kg) or saline. The first retest (R1) was performed one week after the surgery while each subsequent test was 5-7 days apart. The rats were euthanized 2 or 4 weeks following the operation. The concentration of brain histamine (HA) and the activity of histamine metabolising enzymes were measured using current procedures. The BCCAO drastically increased latency and run time (p<0.001) 54±30 vs. 3.4±1.2 and 268±18 vs. 74±9, respectively, and affected working memory rather than reference memory as measured by the 1st retest (R1). Treatment with either PF9601N or tacrine seems to exert a positive effect on working memory. This tendency disappeared after the drug treatment stopped. Latency and run time, although they improved in R2-R4, never attained the preoperative values. The brain tissues from rats treated with PF9601N showed only 15% and 50% of untreated rat MAO B and MAO A activity, respectively, despite the drug administration having been discontinued for 3 weeks. Other drugs examined did not influence MAO enzymes. Neither did histamine N-methyltransferase activity show changes related to BCCAO nor to the treatments. The hypothalamic HA concentration was significantly reduced after BCCAO: 1.13±0.1 vs. 1.91±0.16. Noteworthy, the rats treated with PF9601N or DL76 had brain HA levels not significantly different from their intact counterparts. The rat vascular dementia model supports deficiency in histaminergic system in VD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-558
JournalJournal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Antagonist
  • Histamine
  • Histamine H 3
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibition
  • Permanent bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries
  • Vascular dementia


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