Since one of us, Takehiko Watanabe (TW), elucidated the location and distribution of the histaminergic neuron system in the brain with antibody raised against L-histidine decarboxylase (a histamine-forming enzyme, HDC) as a marker in 1984 and came to Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, we have been collaborating on the functions of this neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice of the histamine-related genes, and, in some cases, positron emission tomography (PET). Many of our graduate students and colleagues have been actively involved in histamine research since 1985. Our extensive studies have clarified some of the functions of histamine neurons using methods from molecular techniques to non-invasive human PET imaging. Histamine neurons are involved in many brain functions, such as spontaneous locomotion, arousal in wake-sleep cycle, appetite control, seizures, learning and memory, aggressive behavior and emotion. Particularly, the histaminergic neuron system is one of the most important neuron systems to maintain and stimulate wakefulness. Histamine also functions as a bioprotection system against various noxious and unfavorable stimuli (for examples, convulsion, nociception, drug sensitization, ischemic lesions, and stress). Although activators of histamine neurons have not been clinically available until now, we would like to point out that the activation of the histaminergic neuron system is important to maintain mental health. Here, we summarize the newly-discovered functions of histamine neurons mainly on the basis of results from our research groups.
We clarified whether the intraocular pressure (IOP) response elicited by stimulation of the cervical sympathetic nerve (CSN) is influenced by changes in the baseline of IOP level and by β-adrenergic blockade. The CSN was stimulated electrically for 30 seconds (10 V, 0.1-100 Hz, 2 milliseconds pulse duration) in urethane (100 mg/kg i.v.)-chloralose (50 mg/kg i.v.)-anesthetized, paralyzed cats. The IOP was monitored manometrically, and a controlled saline infusion was delivered into the anterior chamber to gradually increase IOP. CSN stimulation was delivered at the various baseline IOP levels so obtained. When required, a β-adrenergic blocker timolol (2%) was delivered into the conjunctival cul-de-sac. The normal IOP in our cats was 25±3 mmHg. This value decreased transiently on CSN stimulation. The amplitude of this IOP response depended on stimulus frequency and the pre-stimulus baseline IOP level. Topical administration of timolol increased the IOP response to CSN stimulation at a given baseline level. These results suggest that β-adrenergic blockade increases the α-adrenergic mediated-IOP reduction elicited by CSN stimulation at given baseline IOP level.
Formaldehyde (HCHO) is the most serious residential pollutant. In order to evaluate residential HCHO levels, two sampling methods have been recommended; one is a 30 minute sampling in a closed room, and the other is a 24 hour sampling with an ordinary lifestyle routine. The aim of this report was to clarify the difference between the HCHO levels obtained by the two sampling methods. Residential air in 58 rooms was sampled for 30 minutes by an active sampling method more than 5 hours after residents closed windows, and by a passive sampling method for 24 hours with an ordinary lifestyle routine. The HCHO concentration with the 30 minute sampling was 0.118±0.065 ppm (range: 0.034-0.295 ppm) and 36 rooms (62%) exceeded the Japanese guideline value of 0.08 ppm, while 5% were higher than 0.25 ppm. The HCHO concentration with the 24 hours sampling was 0.053±0.039 ppm (range: 0.02-0.167 ppm) and only 13 rooms (22%) exceeded 0.08 ppm. The relationship between the concentrations obtained by the two methods was linear. However, the level with the 24 hour sampling significantly reduced with prolonged window opening time, meaning that occupants made an effort to reduce the usual exposure to about 40% of the exposure in a closed room by opening windows in order to escape from irritation. Since major adverse effects of HCHO are irritation and sensitization, the occasional peak concentration must be focused. In order to evaluate residential HCHO levels, measurement in a closed room is recommended even if people are living there.
We determined the binding of verotoxin-1 (VT1) and verotoxin-2 (VT2) against globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) by a monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Ethanolic solution of Gb3 containing cholesterol and phosphatidylcholine was passively adsorbed onto the wells of microtiter plate, and Gb3-bound VT1 and VT2 were detected by anti-VT1 and anti-VT2 mAbs, respectively. Although both VT1 and VT2 reacted with Gb3 in a concentration dependent manner, terminal galactose requirement for Gb3 binding was also different from each other. Pretreatment of VT1 showed the inhibitory effect on the binding of VT2 to Gb3, while the VT2-pretreatment showed no inhibitory effect on VT1 binding to Gb3. This was not due to the replacement of Gb3-bound VT2 with post-treated VT1. These results suggest that the binding sites of VT1 and VT2 on Gb3 are not identical to each other.
This study was undertaken to determine the effects of various resuscitation regimens on lung perfusion following resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock. Fourty male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-300 g) were used. The rats were divided randomly into four groups (n=10 for each) and were sedated with intramuscular ketamine (100 mg/kg). We measured blood pressure, rectal temperature and lung perfusion using radioscintigraphy with a technetium colloid indicator. The systolic blood pressure was decreased 75% by removing blood via v. jugularis in the first three groups and group 4 was accepted as the control group, and blood volume was not diminished. Then the first three groups were resuscitated with autologous blood containing 125 units heparine/ml in group 1, saline in group 2, and hydroxyethyl starch (HES) 6% in group 3. After the correction of hypovolemia, all animals were injected 100 Bg (0.1 cc) technetium 99 m macroaggregated albumin (99mTc MAA) via penil vein. After injection of 99mTc MAA, 3 minutes fixed images were detected by a γ camera in posterior position at 15 minutes and 5 hours. 99mTc MAA “wash out” rate in lung was determined quantitatively at 5 hours. Compared to a control group, lung perfusion was decreased significantly in groups resuscitated with saline, and HES 6% while perfusion was restored with autologous blood. We conclude that heparinized autologous blood saved lung capillary circulation in hemorrhagic shock in rats.