Co-localization of histamine with GABA but not with galanin in the human tuberomamillary nucleus

Brain Res. 2002 Jun 7;939(1-2):52-64. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(02)02546-5.


The presence of GABA and galanin in histaminergic neurons was previously reported in the rodent brain but whether such co-localizations also occur in the human brain was not known. We used in situ hybridization histochemistry and immunohistochemistry to study the co-localization of histamine with GABA and galanin in neurons of the tuberomamillary nucleus of adult human posterior hypothalamus. On consecutive formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections, co-localization was assessed using the in situ hybridization for L-histidine decarboxylase mRNA and immunocytochemistry for glutamate decarboxylase-67 kDa or galanin in the two profiles of same cell. The pattern of distribution and number of histaminergic neurons identified by in situ hybridization of the synthesizing enzyme gene transcripts were in accordance with data reported for histamine immunoreactivity. The great majority of neurons within the main divisions of the tuberomamillary nucleus containing L-histidine decarboxylase mRNA was also immunoreactive for glutamate decarboxylase-67 kDa. The range of co-localization of the two markers varied from 72% in the lateral part, to 75-87% in the medial part and 83-88% in the ventral part. In contrast, no cell containing L-histidine decarboxylase mRNA was immunoreactive for galanin. We conclude that tuberomamillary neurons in human co-express histamine with GABA but, unlike the neurons in rodents, do not express galanin, indicating that neurotransmitter co-localization patterns differ in the two species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy
  • Female
  • Galanin / analysis
  • Galanin / metabolism*
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / analysis
  • Histamine / metabolism*
  • Histidine Decarboxylase / analysis
  • Histidine Decarboxylase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / enzymology
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Isoenzymes / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Histamine
  • Galanin
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase
  • glutamate decarboxylase 1
  • Histidine Decarboxylase