House of Mind

"Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind" - Jeffrey Eugenides

  • 27th August
    2014
  • 27
Histamine 
….And the transmitter series is back in business. If you’ve been following from the start, you know what I’m talking about ;) If you’re new, welcome!
Here is a list of neurotransmitters that have been covered so far: 
Dopamine
Serotonin
Norepinephrine
Glutamate
GABA
Acetylcholine
Histamine acts as a modulatory neurotransmitter. As such, it acts through G-protein coupled receptors to fine-tune excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters.  Histamine is involved in a number of biological processes, including immune and inflammatory responses, maintenance of wakefulness, feeding and energy balance and regulating physiological function in the gut. 
Histamine is produced in the brain by mast cells and neurons for regulated release. In the adult mammalian brain, histamine is produced exclusively in the tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN) of the hypothalamus, which sends fibre projections to all  major parts of the brain. Histamine released from TMN neurons activate 3 G-protein coupled receptors. These are:
H1Rs and H2Rs- located in neuronal and glial cells, expressed postsynaptically and have important roles in the cerebral cortex, striatum, hypothalamus, and hippocampusH3Rs- exclusively expressed in neurons; can act as both auto receptors in histaminergic neurons and heteroreceptors in nonhistaminergic neurons which regulate release of other neurotransmitters


Studies in humans and animal models of psychiatric disorders suggest a role for histamine dysfunction in the following diseases:
Narcolepsy and sleep disordersCognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s diseaseMotor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Gilles de la Tourette syndromeSchizophreniaAddictive behaviorsMultiple sclerosis 
Sources: 
Panula and Nuutinen (2013). The histaminergic network in the brain: basic organization and role in disease. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14: 472-487. 

Histamine 

….And the transmitter series is back in business. If you’ve been following from the start, you know what I’m talking about ;) If you’re new, welcome!

Here is a list of neurotransmitters that have been covered so far: 

Dopamine

Serotonin

Norepinephrine

Glutamate

GABA

Acetylcholine

Histamine acts as a modulatory neurotransmitter. As such, it acts through G-protein coupled receptors to fine-tune excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters.  Histamine is involved in a number of biological processes, including immune and inflammatory responses, maintenance of wakefulness, feeding and energy balance and regulating physiological function in the gut. 

Histamine is produced in the brain by mast cells and neurons for regulated release. In the adult mammalian brain, histamine is produced exclusively in the tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN) of the hypothalamus, which sends fibre projections to all  major parts of the brain. Histamine released from TMN neurons activate 3 G-protein coupled receptors. These are:

H1Rs and H2Rs- located in neuronal and glial cells, expressed postsynaptically and have important roles in the cerebral cortex, striatum, hypothalamus, and hippocampus
H3Rs- exclusively expressed in neurons; can act as both auto receptors in histaminergic neurons and heteroreceptors in nonhistaminergic neurons which regulate release of other neurotransmitters

Studies in humans and animal models of psychiatric disorders suggest a role for histamine dysfunction in the following diseases:

Narcolepsy and sleep disorders
Cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease
Motor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome
Schizophrenia
Addictive behaviors
Multiple sclerosis 

Sources: 

Panula and Nuutinen (2013). The histaminergic network in the brain: basic organization and role in disease. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14: 472-487. 

  • 27th August
    2014
  • 27
Heya, I'm a fellow PhD student in schizophrenia research :) was just wondering, do you have a particular site you go to to find recent interesting research or do you just come across them through pubmed?

Asked by: atypelife

In addition to what I find through social media, I have a habit of checking the J Neuro, Biological Psychiatry and Neuropsychopharmacology Table of Contents every week and looking at Science, Nature, and  Nature Neuroscience monthly. There are certain labs that I admire so I conduct PubMed searches with the PIs name regularly. 

  • 27th August
    2014
  • 27
What would you say is the main purpose in a neuroscience undergrad opting for a PhD program instead of medical school? I'm a sophomore, planning on doing this, but I encountered some serious condescension from my advisor when I said so, which greatly confused me. I'm looking to be a neuroscientist, not a neurologist. I've also experienced a good deal of scoffing from my professors at my interest in psychology and philosophy. What's your answer in those predicaments?

Asked by: thehurdygurdyman

in my opinion, a neuroscience undergrad opting for a PhD program instead of medical school is one that already knows that they do not want to be a clinician and treat patients. Of course, an MD can still do research, but this is not what they are primarily trained to do. I would personally encourage you to do the same thing I did when deciding: look at the curriculum for an MD and compare it to the curriculum for a Neuroscience PhD. By doing this I realized that an MD would mean taking a lot of courses in topics that I really didn’t care about. Given that I was interested in the brain and had no desire to treat patients, I opted for the PhD route… 

I wouldn’t give your advisor’s attitude much thought. Maybe the advisor thinks that there’s more value to getting an MD? In any case, who cares? Either way you are going to spend a lot of time and intellectual effort, so why not make it something you are truly passionate about? Find out what you care about and just do you. 

Hope this helps!

  • 27th August
    2014
  • 27
And may the review process go quick and your manuscript be published.

Asked by: adoptedwildcat

Thank you so much! My manuscript is currently under review. Keeping my fingers crossed…

  • 27th August
    2014
  • 27
Do you have any advice on how to obtain an RA or lab assistant position without any formal experience? I am very interested in working or volunteering as one, but most of my experiences are from research projects or labs for my courses.

Asked by: lanthracite

Everybody has to start somewhere, right? Although many labs prefer to hire someone with experience, other labs may like that you are a blank canvas in the sense that they can train you to do everything exactly how they want you to. I know of many RAs and techs that obtain the position by volunteering or doing lab work for credit as students and doing well enough to get offered a paying job. Good luck! 

  • 15th August
    2014
  • 15