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Decreased intracellular calcium mediates the histamine H3-receptor-induced attenuation of norepinephrine exocytosis from cardiac sympathetic nerve endings

The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine


Activation of presynatic histamine H3 receptors (H3R) down-regulates norepinephrine exocytosis from cardiac sympathetic nerve terminals, in both normal and ischemic conditions. Analogous to the effects of α2-adrenoceptors, which also act prejunctionally to inhibit norepinephrine release, H3R-mediated antiexocytotic effects could result from a decreased Ca2+ influx into nerve endings. We tested this hypothesis in sympathetic nerve terminals isolated from guinea pig heart (cardiac synaptosomes) and in a model human neuronal cell line (SH-SY5Y), which we stably transfected with human H3R cDNA (SH-SY5Y-H3). We found that reducing Ca2+ influx in response to membrane depolarization by inhibiting N-type Ca2+ channels with ω-conotoxin (ω-CTX) greatly attenuated the exocytosis of [3H]norepinephrine from both SH-SY5Y and SH-SY5Y-H3 cells, as well as the exocytosis of endogenous norepinephrine from cardiac synaptosomes. Similar to ω-CTX, activation of H3R with the selective H3R-agonist imetit also reduced both the rise in intracellular Ca2+ concentration (Cai) and norepinephrine exocytosis in response to membrane depolarization. The selective H3R antagonist thioperamide prevented this effect of imetit. In the parent SH-SY5Y cells lacking H3R, imetit affected neither the rise in Cai nor [3H]norepinephrine exocytosis, demonstrating that the presence of H3R is a prerequisite for a decrease in Cai in response to imetit and that H3R activation modulates norepinephrine exocytosis by limiting the magnitude of the increase in Cai. Inasmuch as excessive norepinephrine exocytosis is a leading cause of cardiac dysfunction and arrhythmias during acute myocardial ischemia, attenuation of norepinephrine release by H3R agonists may offer a novel therapeutic approach to this condition.

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