Histaminergic system in the tree shrew brain

J Comp Neurol. 1989 Aug 15;286(3):289-310. doi: 10.1002/cne.902860302.


This study mapped the histamine-immunoreactive neuronal system in the brain of the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) and compared its structure with that of the rat and guinea pig. The histamine-containing cell bodies lay in the posterior ventral hypothalamus in the tuberomammillary complex, as in the rodents. The morphology of this complex resembled that of the rat. The histaminergic axons projected to nearly all parts of the brain. The main ascending bundle ran ventromedially: the densest innervation was found in the ventral hypothalamus, preoptic area, septum, medial part of nucleus accumbens, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. High fiber densities were present in the amygdaloid nuclei and claustrum. Another pathway ran dorsomedially along the periventricular hypothalamus and sent fibers to all parts of the diencephalon. Part of these fibers followed the central gray to the midbrain and spread laterally below the inferior colliculus. Another descending pathway ran through the interfascicular and medial raphe nuclei to meet the pontine central gray. The densest fiber networks were seen in the dorsal tegmental and parabrachial nuclei, and around the locus coeruleus. Also the substantia nigra, interpeduncular and mesencephalic reticular nuclei, colliculi, and vestibular and raphe nuclei received a dense histaminergic innervation. The organization of the fibers in the tree shrew brain resembled more that in the guinea pig than that in the rat. As compared with the guinea pig, more fibers were present, particularly in the globus pallidus, central thalamus, and deep cerebellar nuclei. No fibers were seen in the outer layer of the piriform cortex. In Tupaia, a laminar organization of the fibers was evident in the hippocampus, in contrast to the rodents. Also, a dense periventricular fiber plexus was prominent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Histamine / analysis*
  • Male
  • Neurons / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Tupaia / anatomy & histology*
  • Tupaiidae / anatomy & histology*


  • Histamine