Oral histidine intake improves working memory through the activation of histaminergic nervous system in mice

Tadaho Nakamura, Fumito Naganuma, Uta Kudomi, Sueji Roh, Kazuhiko Yanai, Takeo Yoshikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Histamine is synthesised from L-histidine through the catalysis of histidine decarboxylase (HDC). In the central nervous system (CNS), histamine is exclusively produced in histaminergic neurons located in the posterior hypothalamus and controls various CNS functions. Although histidine was known as a precursor of histamine, the impact of oral histidine intake on brain histamine concentration and brain function has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the importance of oral histidine supplementation in the histaminergic nervous system and working memory in stressful conditions. First, we confirmed that sleep deprivation by water-floor stress in male mice increased histamine consumption and resulted in histamine reduction and impaired working memory in the Y-maze test. This memory impairment was rescued by intracerebroventricular injection of histamine and histidine, indicating that oral histidine intake could also improve memory function. Next, we examined the impact of histidine intake on brain histamine concentration and neuronal activity. Histidine intake increased extracellular histamine concentration around the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the basal forebrain (BF), leading to a robust increase in the number of c-fos-positive cells around these areas. Finally, we investigated the beneficial effects of histidine intake on working memory. Histidine supplementation alleviated impaired memory function induced by sleep deprivation. This beneficial effect of histidine on memory was cancelled by intracerebroventricular injection of the HDC inhibitor α-fluoromethylhistidine. These results demonstrate that oral histidine intake replenishes brain histamine and leads to the recovery of impaired working memory induced by sleep deprivation through histaminergic activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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