H1-histaminergic activation of catecholamine release by chromaffin cells

Biochem Pharmacol. 1988 Jan 15;37(2):221-8. doi: 10.1016/0006-2952(88)90721-6.


Bovine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells, prelabeled with [3H]norepinephrine, released a large proportion of cellular 3H-labeled catecholamines (CAs) when stimulated with nicotine, K+, histamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and several peptidic hormones [bradykinin, angiotensin II, thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) and neurotensin]. The histamine-induced response was dose dependent and occurred through H1 histaminergic receptors. Quantitatively and temporally the histamine- and nicotine-induced responses differed. Nicotine, during the first minutes, induced a large increase of [3H]CAs, but this response was desensitized rapidly. In contrast, histamine initially provoked a smaller release of [3H]CAs than nicotine but, with prolonged exposure (hours), a much greater response was found with histamine. Moreover, little desensitization was observed with histamine even during extended stimulation. External Ca2+ was obligatory for the histamine response, and both inorganic (Co2+ and Ni2+) and organic (verapamil, nifedipine and D-600) Ca2+ channel blockers significantly reduced release of [3H]CAs. These studies suggest that histamine as well as certain other neuroactive substances could play an important role in the physiology and biochemistry of adrenal medullary chromaffin cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Medulla / drug effects
  • Adrenal Medulla / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Catecholamines / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cimetidine / pharmacology
  • Clemastine / pharmacology
  • Histamine / pharmacology
  • Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Muscarine / pharmacology
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Ranitidine / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Histamine / physiology*
  • Receptors, Histamine H1 / drug effects
  • Receptors, Histamine H1 / physiology*


  • Catecholamines
  • Hormones
  • Receptors, Histamine
  • Receptors, Histamine H1
  • Nicotine
  • Muscarine
  • Cimetidine
  • Histamine
  • Ranitidine
  • Clemastine
  • Calcium
  • Norepinephrine