JNJ-10181457, a selective non-imidazole histamine H3 receptor antagonist, normalizes acetylcholine neurotransmission and has efficacy in translational rat models of cognition

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Histamine 3 (H3) receptors are distributed throughout the brain and regulate histamine as well as the activity of other neurotransmitters including acetylcholine (ACh). Impaired ACh neurotransmission is associated with deficits of cognitive-related functioning in many species including humans. The goal of these studies was to evaluate the behavioral and neurochemical effects of JNJ-10181457, a selective non-imidazole histamine H3 receptor antagonist, in rats. The pharmacokinetic profile and receptor occupancy of JNJ-10181457 were tested. The efficacy of JNJ-10181457 was evaluated, acutely, in the imetit-induced water licking model, delayed non-matching to position (DNMTP) task and microdialysis studies. In addition, the effects of repeated administration of JNJ-10181457 were evaluated in the reversal learning task. A single administration of JNJ-10181457 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) resulted in significant plasma and brain exposure and maximal H3 receptor occupancy. In addition, JNJ-10181457 reversed imetit-induced water licking, similarly to thioperamide (10 mg/kg, i.p.). In the DNMTP task, scopolamine (0.06 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly decreased percentage correct responding. These effects were significantly reversed by JNJ-10181457 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and also by donepezil (1 mg/kg, i.p.), an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, and were associated with normalization of ACh neurotransmission in the cortex. Repeated administration of JNJ-10181457 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly increased percentage correct responding in the reversal learning task. Treatment discontinuation was not associated with rebound effects on cognition. These results indicate that selective blockade of histamine H3 receptors might have therapeutic utility for the treatment of working memory deficits and learning disorders, especially those in which ACh neurotransmission is compromised.

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