Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

VA/UCLA researchers pinpoint role of histamines in waking

27.05.2004


A study by scientists with the Veterans Affairs’ Neurobiology Research Laboratory and UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute shows that brain cells containing the chemical histamine are critical for waking.



Detailed in the May 27 edition of the journal Neuron, the findings show that the cessation of activity in histamine cells causes loss of consciousness during sleep, while cessation of activity in other brain cells--those containing the brain chemicals norepinephrine or serotonin--causes loss of muscle tone in sleep. The findings also help explain why antihistamines, often taken to control allergies, cause drowsiness.

"Our findings greatly improve our understanding of the brain activity responsible for maintaining consciousness and muscle tone while awake," said Dr. Jerome Siegel, senior author on the study. "The findings should aid in the development of drugs to induce sleep and to increase alertness." Siegel is chief of neurobiology research at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Sepulveda, and a professor at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.


The research team conducted their study using dogs with the sleep disorder narcolepsy, in which sudden collapses of muscle tone, known as cataplexy, occur during waking. Although waking alertness is maintained during cataplexy, muscle tone is lost.

In both narcoleptic and normal animals, cells containing histamine, norepinephrine and serotonin are active in waking and inactive in sleep. The researchers studied their activity in cataplexy to pinpoint the roles of the three cell groups in the loss of consciousness and loss of muscle tone that occur during sleep.

The VA/UCLA researchers found that histamine cell activity continued during cataplexy, indicating that their activity is linked to waking. The team also found that norepinephrine and serotonin cell activity ceases in cataplexy, showing that their activity is related to muscle tone, rather than waking.

In 2000, Siegel’s team published its findings that narcoleptics had 95 percent fewer hypocretin (orexin) nerve cells in their brains than those without the illness. The study was the first to show a possible biological cause of narcolepsy.


The VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System’s Neurobiology Research Laboratory is a part of the Sleep Research Group. This multidisciplinary group of investigators is pursuing innovative ways to prevent and treat sleep disorders. Current studies focus on body-temperature regulation during sleep; brain mechanisms regulating sleep and circadian rhythms; narcolepsy and its causes; and the role of sleep in epileptic events.

The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute is an interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior, including the genetic, biological, behavioral and sociocultural underpinnings of normal behavior, and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders. More information about the Institute is available online at www.npi.ucla.edu.

Dan Page | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.npi.ucla.edu.

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>