The expression of H1 receptor has been reported in amacrine cells of mouse and rat retinae. However, we assumed that other types of histamine receptors also function in amacrine cells. In order to confirm that histamine modulates the membrane potential in mouse amacrine cells, we measured voltage-gated currents using whole-cell configuration. Under voltage-clamp conditions, the amplitude of voltage-gated outward currents was enhanced by the application of 100 µM histamine in 65% of amacrine cells. Histamine also increased the amplitudes of voltage-gated inward currents in 72% of amacrine cells. When antagonists of the histamine H1, H2, or H3 receptors were applied to histamine-sensitive amacrine cells, all three types of these inhibitors reduced the effect of histamine. Moreover, we classified recorded cells into seven types based on their morphological characteristics. Two of the seven types, diffuse multistratified cells and AII amacrine cells, responded significantly to histamine. These results indicate that histamine affected the membrane potential via three types of histamine receptors. Furthermore, there were differences in the responses to histamine among types of amacrine cells. Histamine may be one of the important neurotransmitters and/or neuromodulators in the visual processing.
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