Memory improvement by post-trial injection of lidocaine into the tuberomammillary nucleus, the source of neuronal histamine.Neurobiol Learn Mem. 1999 Sep; 72(2):69-77.NL
Brain histamine is exclusively contained within and released from neurons whose cell bodies are clustered in the tuberomammillary nucleus (TM) of the posterior hypothalamus. This experiment examined the effects of a transient inactivation of the TM on inhibitory avoidance learning. Rats with chronically implanted cannulae were tested on a 1-trial step-through avoidance task. Immediately following training, the rats received unilateral intra-TM infusions (0.5 microl) of lidocaine (5 or 20 microg). Control groups included vehicle-injected rats and a group given an injection of 20 microg lidocaine 5 h after training. When tested 24 h later, rats treated with 20 microg lidocaine exhibited longer step-through latencies than vehicle-treated controls, indicative of superior learning of the task. The failure of the delayed post-trial injection of lidocaine to significantly influence step-through latencies indicates that the compound influenced learning by modulating memory storage processes rather than by acting on performance variables during retrieval of the task. Thus, inactivation of the TM by lidocaine can exert facilitatory effects on mnemonic processing, which might be related to a temporary reduction of histaminergic activity during the early phase of memory consolidation.