Histamine-immunoreactive nerve fibers in the mammalian spinal cord

Brain Res. 1989 Apr 10;484(1-2):234-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(89)90366-1.


New sensitive antisera against histamine were used to study the distribution of histamine-immunoreactive nerve fibers in the spinal cord of several mammalian species. Tissues were fixed with carbodiimide by transcardiac perfusion or immersion. A few immunoreactive nerve fibers were found in the cervical spinal cord of the rat in the superficial laminae of the dorsal horn, around the central canal and scattered in the anterior horn. The density of immunoreactive fibers in the cervical spinal cord of the guinea pig and tree shrew was higher, but still low. The densest networks of histamine-immunoreactive fibers were seen in the cervical spinal cord of the pig. The laminar distribution of histamine-immunoreactive fibers was similar in all species. Histamine-immunoreactive fibers were densest in lamina X, followed by laminae I-II. Scattered fibers were also seen in the white matter in the lateral and posterior funiculus in the pig. In the rat and the guinea pig, no histamine-immunoreactive cell bodies were seen in the spinal sensory ganglia. The results suggest that the histamine-immunoreactive nerve fibers in the spinal cord may originate from the brain, probably from the posterior hypothalamus, and the fiber projection is more extensive in higher mammalian species. The role of histamine in the spinal cord is not known, but it may be involved in, e.g., pain sensation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Histamine / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*


  • Histamine