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In the striatum, histamine H3 receptors (H3Rs) are co-expressed with adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs) in the cortico-striatal glutamatergic afferents and the GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons that originate the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia. This location allows H3Rs and A2ARs to regulate the striatal GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission. However, whether these receptors can physically interact has not yet been assessed. To test this hypothesis, a heteromer-selective in vitro assay was used to detect functional complementation between a chimeric A2AR302-Gαqi4 and wild-type H3Rs in transfected HEK-293T cells. H3R activation with the agonist RAMH resulted in Ca2+ mobilization (pEC50 7.31 ± 0.23; maximal stimulation, Emax 449 ± 25% of basal) indicative of receptor heterodimerization. Functional H3R-A2AR heteromers were confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation and observations of differential cAMP signaling when both receptors were co-expressed in the same cells. In membranes from rat striatal synaptosomes, H3R activation decreased A2AR affinity for the agonist CGS-21680 (pKi values 8.10 ± 0.04 and 7.70 ± 0.04). Moreover, H3Rs and A2ARs co-immunoprecipitated in protein extracts from striatal synaptosomes. These results support the existence of a H3R-A2AR heteromer with possible physiological implications for the modulation of the intra-striatal transmission.

Original publication




Journal article


Pharmacol Res

Publication Date





515 - 525


Adenosine A(2A) receptor, Basal ganglia, GPCR heterodimers, Histamine H(3) receptor, Striatum, Animals, CHO Cells, Corpus Striatum, Cricetulus, HEK293 Cells, Humans, Neurons, Rats, Receptor, Adenosine A2A, Receptors, Histamine H3, Recombination, Genetic