Histamine regulates memory consolidation

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Recent findings have reasserted the role of histamine in the regulation of memory consolidation first proposed in 1986 in an inhibitory avoidance task in rats. They indicate that histamine is indeed a major regulator of memory consolidation in various tasks, through H2 receptors in the dorsal hippocampus and through H3 receptors in the basolateral amygdala, depending on the task. In the object recognition task, the memory enhancing effect is mediated by the three receptors (H1, H2, H3) in the dorsal hippocampus. In social recognition, the consolidation effect is mediated by H2 receptors in both amygdala and dorsal hippocampus. Data have suggested, in addition, influences on retrieval; this has been best studied in the dorsal hippocampus in step-down inhibitory avoidance task. Depending on the recent history of the conditioned stimulus (i.e., whether it has been recently reinforced or not), histamine acts on hippocampal H1 receptors, facilitating retrieval, or on H2 receptors, inhibiting it.

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