Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2013 Apr;17(2):149-156. 10.4196/kjpp.2013.17.2.149.

Effects of Histamine on Cultured Interstitial Cells of Cajal in Murine Small Intestine

  • 1School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-770, Korea.
  • 2Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Inje University, Busan 614-735, Korea.
  • 3Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-799, Korea. insuk@snu.ac.kr


Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) are the pacemaker cells in the gastrointestinal tract, and histamine is known to regulate neuronal activity, control vascular tone, alter endothelial permeability, and modulate gastric acid secretion. However, the action mechanisms of histamine in mouse small intestinal ICCs have not been previously investigated, and thus, in the present study, we investigated the effects of histamine on mouse small intestinal ICCs, and sought to identify the receptors involved. Enzymatic digestions were used to dissociate ICCs from small intestines, and the whole-cell patch-clamp configuration was used to record potentials (in current clamp mode) from cultured ICCs. Histamine was found to depolarize resting membrane potentials concentration dependently, and whereas 2-PEA (a selective H1 receptor agonist) induced membrane depolarizations, Dimaprit (a selective H2-agonist), R-alpha-methylhistamine (R-alpha-MeHa; a selective H3-agonist), and 4-methylhistamine (4-MH; a selective H4-agonist) did not. Pretreatment with Ca(2+)-free solution or thapsigargin (a Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibitor in endoplasmic reticulum) abolished the generation of pacemaker potentials and suppressed histamine-induced membrane depolarization. Furthermore, treatments with U-73122 (a phospholipase C inhibitor) or 5-fluoro-2-indolyl des-chlorohalopemide (FIPI; a phospholipase D inhibitor) blocked histamine-induced membrane depolarizations in ICCs. On the other hand, KT5720 (a protein kinase A inhibitor) did not block histamine-induced membrane depolarization. These results suggest that histamine modulates pacemaker potentials through H1 receptor-mediated pathways via external Ca2+ influx and Ca2+ release from internal stores in a PLC and PLD dependent manner.


Gastrointestinal tract; Histamine; ICCs; Interstitial cells of cajal
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