Coupling of histamine H3 receptors to neuronal Na+/H+ exchange: A novel protective mechanism in myocardial ischemia Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Myocardial Ischemia
  • Neurons
  • Receptors, Histamine H3
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Antiporter


  • In myocardial ischemia, adrenergic nerves release excessive amounts of norepinephrine (NE), causing dysfunction and arrhythmias. With anoxia and the concomitant ATP depletion, vesicular storage of NE is impaired, resulting in accumulation of free NE in the axoplasm of sympathetic nerves. Intraneuronal acidosis activates the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger (NHE), leading to increased Na(+) entry in the nerve terminals. These conditions favor availability of the NE transporter to the axoplasmic side of the membrane, causing massive carrier-mediated efflux of free NE. Neuronal NHE activation is pivotal in this process; NHE inhibitors attenuate carrier-mediated NE release. We previously reported that activation of histamine H(3) receptors (H(3)R) on cardiac sympathetic nerves also reduces carrier-mediated NE release and alleviates arrhythmias. Thus, H(3)R activation may be negatively coupled to NHE. We tested this hypothesis in individual human SKNMC neuroblastoma cells stably transfected with H(3)R cDNA, loaded with the intracellular pH (pH(i)) indicator BCECF. These cells possess amiloride-sensitive NHE. NHE activity was measured as the rate of Na(+)-dependent pH(i) recovery in response to an acute acid pulse (NH(4)Cl). We found that the selective H(3)R-agonist imetit markedly diminished NHE activity, and so did the amiloride derivative EIPA. The selective H(3)R antagonist thioperamide abolished the imetit-induced NHE attenuation. Thus, our results provide a link between H(3)R and NHE, which may limit the excessive release of NE during protracted myocardial ischemia. Our previous and present findings uncover a novel mechanism of cardioprotection: NHE inhibition in cardiac adrenergic neurons as a means to prevent ischemic arrhythmias associated with carrier-mediated NE release.

publication date

  • February 27, 2001



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC30229

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.051599198

PubMed ID

  • 11226330

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2855

end page

  • 9


  • 98


  • 5