Author(s): Cacabelos R, Yamatodani A, Niigawa H, Hariguchi S, Tada K
The concentration of histamine (HA) has been determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorometric detection in 21 different regions of brains from patients with senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) and subjects (CB) whose causes of death were not related to neuropsychiatric, neurological and/or neurodegenerative diseases. The highest levels of HA in the central nervous system (CNS) of both control (CB) and SDAT samples were found in the posterior hypothalamus (CB = 3.13 +/- 0.63 pmol/mg; SDAT = 7.75 +/- 1.43 pmol/mg, p less than 0.005), where the HA neurons are located, and in the anterior hypothalamus (CB = 1.77 +/- 0.33 pmol/mg; SDAT = 2.82 +/- 0.45 pmol/mg, p less than 0.005). The lowest HA levels were detected in the cerebellum (CB = 0.12 +/- 0.04 pmol/mg; SDAT = 0.24 +/- 0.09 pmol/mg, p less than 0.01) and medulla oblongata. HA levels were significantly higher in SDAT than in CB in the following areas: motor cortex (Brodmann's area 4) (A4), premotor cortex (A6), postcentral gyrus (A1,2), posterior parietal cortex (A5,7), superior temporal gyrus (A41,42), temporal pole (A38), primary and secondary visual cortices (A17,18), anterior and posterior regions of the hypothalamus, putamen, caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, hippocampus, pons, medulla oblongata and cerebellum. No changes were seen in globus pallidus and corpus callosum. Since the origin of HA in the brain is dependent upon three main compartments (neuronal, mast cell, vascular smooth muscle), with approximately 60-80% of the total HA belonging to the neuronal pool, on the basis of neurochemical data we postulate that the increase in the levels of HA in SDAT might account for or be associated with alterations in neuroendocrine, cognitive, neurovascular and sleep-wakefulness functions.