High‐amplitude theta wave bursts characterizing narcoleptic mice and patients are also produced by histamine deficiency in mice
Histamine and orexins are wake promoters released by hypothalamic neurons. The activity of histamine neurons is increased by orexin neurons. Recently, it has been shown that orexin deficiency entails high‐amplitude theta wave bursts during rapid eye movement sleep and cataplexy in narcoleptic mice. The primary aim of this study was to assess whether histamine system is involved in high‐amplitude theta wave burst generation during rapid eye movement sleep. The secondary aim was to assess the effects of combined histamine and orexin deficiency on high‐amplitude theta wave bursts during rapid eye movement sleep in mice. Twelve histidine‐decarboxylase knockout mice with congenital histamine deficiency, seven double mutant mice with combined deficiency of orexin neurons and histamine, and 11 wild‐type control mice were studied with electrodes for sleep recordings and a telemetric blood pressure transducer. High‐amplitude theta wave bursts during rapid eye movement sleep were detected in each of the histidine‐decarboxylase knockout and double mutant mice, whereas only one burst was found in a wild‐type control mouse. High‐amplitude theta wave bursts occurred significantly more often and were significantly longer in double mutant than in histidine‐decarboxylase knockout mice. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that, similarly to orexin, the chronic impairment of histamine entailed high‐amplitude theta wave bursts during rapid eye movement sleep. The current data also suggested a synergistic role of orexin and histamine signalling on high‐amplitude theta wave bursts during rapid eye movement sleep in mice.
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