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The impact of pitolisant, an H3 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist, on perirhinal cortex activity in individual neuron and neuronal population levels

Sci Reports

Authors: Kyosuke Hirano, Yoshikazu Morishita, Masabumi Minami, Hiroshi Nomura
Publication: Scientific Reports
Date: May 12, 2022
Link to article: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-11032-y


Histamine is a neurotransmitter that modulates neuronal activity and regulates various brain functions. Histamine H3 receptor (H3R) antagonists/inverse agonists enhance its release in most brain regions, including the cerebral cortex, which improves learning and memory and exerts an antiepileptic effect. However, the mechanism underlying the effect of H3R antagonists/inverse agonists on cortical neuronal activity in vivo remains unclear. Here, we show the mechanism by which pitolisant, an H3R antagonist/inverse agonist, influenced perirhinal cortex (PRh) activity in individual neuron and neuronal population levels. We monitored neuronal activity in the PRh of freely moving mice using in vivo Ca2+ imaging through a miniaturized one-photon microscope. Pitolisant increased the activity of some PRh neurons while decreasing the activity of others without affecting the mean neuronal activity across neurons. Moreover, it increases neuron pairs with synchronous activity in excitatory-responsive neuronal populations. Furthermore, machine learning analysis revealed that pitolisant altered the neuronal population activity. The changes in the population activity were dependent on the neurons that were excited and inhibited by pitolisant treatment. These findings indicate that pitolisant influences the activity of a subset of PRh neurons by increasing the synchronous activity and modifying the population activity.

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