Histamine metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with chronic schizophrenia: their relationships to levels of other aminergic transmitters and ratings of symptoms

Schizophr Res. 1995 Jan;14(2):93-104. doi: 10.1016/0920-9964(94)00034-6.


Levels of the histamine metabolites, tele-methylhistamine (t-MH) and tele-methylimidazoleacetic acid (t-MIAA), and metabolites of other aminergic transmitters and of norepinephrine were measured in cerebrospinal fluid of 36 inpatients with chronic schizophrenia and eight controls. The mean t-MH level from controls was nearly identical to the levels seen previously in healthy volunteers. Compared with controls, the mean level of t-MH in the schizophrenic patients was 2.6-fold higher (p = 0.006); 21 of the patients had levels exceeding the range of controls. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in levels of other analytes, although the levels of t-MH correlated significantly with those of t-MIAA, homovanillic acid, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, norepinephrine, 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. The difference in levels of t-MH were not attributable to medication, since those taking (n = 10) or withdrawn from (n = 26) neuroleptic drugs had nearly the same mean levels of t-MH; each group had higher levels than controls (ANOVA: p < 0.05). Patients with or without tardive dyskinesia showed no significant differences in means of any analyte. Only levels of t-MH among those with schizophrenia correlated with positive symptom scores on the Psychiatric Symptom Assessment Scale (rs = 0.45, p < 0.02). The elevated levels of t-MH in cerebrospinal fluid, which represent histamine that was released and metabolized, suggest increased central histaminergic activity in patients with chronic schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biogenic Amines / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Female
  • Histamine / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Male
  • Methylhistamines / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Norepinephrine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Reference Values
  • Schizophrenia / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Biogenic Amines
  • Imidazoles
  • Methylhistamines
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • methylimidazoleacetic acid
  • Histamine
  • tele-methylhistamine
  • Norepinephrine