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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 328602, 16 pages
Review Article

Histaminergic Mechanisms for Modulation of Memory Systems

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Médicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Ramiro Barcelos 2400, 90035-903 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
2Centro de Memória, Instituto do Cérebro, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Ipiranga 6690, 90610-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
3Departamento de Farmácia, Universidade Estadual do Centro Oeste, Simeão Camargo de Sá 03, 85040-080 Guarapuava, PR, Brazil

Received 16 March 2011; Accepted 29 June 2011

Academic Editor: Anja Gundlfinger

Copyright © 2011 Cristiano André Köhler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Encoding for several memory types requires neural changes and the activity of distinct regions across the brain. These areas receive broad projections originating in nuclei located in the brainstem which are capable of modulating the activity of a particular area. The histaminergic system is one of the major modulatory systems, and it regulates basic homeostatic and higher functions including arousal, circadian, and feeding rhythms, and cognition. There is now evidence that histamine can modulate learning in different types of behavioral tasks, but the exact course of modulation and its mechanisms are controversial. In the present paper we review the involvement of the histaminergic system and the effects histaminergic receptor agonists/antagonists have on the performance of tasks associated with the main memory types as well as evidence provided by studies with knockout models. Thus, we aim to summarize the possible effects histamine has on modulation of circuits involved in memory formation.