Brain histamine improves colonic hyperpermeability through the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, adenosine A2B receptors and vagus nerve in rats

Biochem Pharmacol. 2024 Apr 10:116201. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2024.116201. Online ahead of print.


Intestinal barrier dysfunction, leaky gut, is implicated in various diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Our recent investigation revealed that basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs), critical for cognitive function, receive signals from butyrate and orexin, playing a role in regulating intestinal barrier function through adenosine A2B signaling and the vagus. This study explores the involvement and function of brain histamine, linked to BFCNs, in the regulation of intestinal barrier function. Colonic permeability, assessed by quantifying absorbed Evans blue in rat colonic tissue, showed that histamine did not affect increased colonic permeability induced by LPS when administered subcutaneously. However, intracisternal histamine administration improved colonic hyperpermeability. Elevating endogenous histamine levels in the brain with SKF91488, a histamine N-methyltransferase inhibitor, also improved colonic hyperpermeability. This effect was abolished by intracisternal chlorpheniramine, an histamine H1 receptor antagonist, not ranitidine, an H2 receptor antagonist. The SKF91488-induced improvement in colonic hyperpermeability was blocked by vagotomy, intracisternal pirenzepine (suppressing BFCNs activity), or alloxazine (an adenosine A2B receptor antagonist). Additionally, intracisternal chlorpheniramine injection eliminated butyrate-induced improvement in colonic hyperpermeability. These findings suggest that brain histamine, acting via the histamine H1 receptor, regulates intestinal barrier function involving BFCNs, adenosine A2B signaling, and the vagus. Brain histamine appears to centrally regulate intestinal barrier function influenced by butyrate, differentiating its actions from peripheral histamine in conditions like IBS, where mast cell-derived histamine induces leaky gut. Brain histamine emerges as a potential pharmacological target for diseases associated with leaky gut, such as dementia and IBS.

PMID:38608783 | DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2024.116201