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The neuromodulator histamine is released throughout the brain during periods of wakefulness. Combined with an abundant expression of histamine receptors, this suggests potential widespread histaminergic control of neural circuit activity. However, the effect of histamine on many of these circuits is unknown. In this review we will discuss recent evidence for histaminergic modulation of the basal ganglia circuitry, and specifically its main input nucleus; the striatum. Furthermore, we will discuss recent findings of histaminergic dysfunction in several basal ganglia disorders, including in Parkinson's disease and most prominently, in Tourette's syndrome, which has led to a resurgence of interest in this neuromodulator. Combined, these recent observations not only suggest a central role for histamine in modulating basal ganglia activity and behaviour, but also as a possible target in treating basal ganglia disorders. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Histamine Receptors'.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





74 - 84


Basal ganglia, Histamine, Parkinson's disease, Striatum, Tourette's syndrome, Animals, Corpus Striatum, Histamine, Humans