Anticonvulsant and procognitive properties of the non-imidazole histamine H3 receptor antagonist DL77 in male adult rats

Bassem Sadek, Ali Saad, Dhanasekaran Subramanian, Mohamed Shafiullah, Dorota Łazewska, Katarzyna Kieć-Kononowiczc

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58 Citations (Scopus)


It has become clear that histamine H3 receptors (H3Rs) are implicated in modulating epilepsy and memory in laboratory animals. The new non-imidazole H3R antagonist DL77 has excellent selectivity profile and shows high in-vivo potency as well as in-vitro antagonist affinity with ED50 values of 2.1 ± 0.2 mg/kg and 8.4 ± 1.3 [nM], respectively. In the present study, the anticonvulsant effects of DL77 on maximal electroshock (MES)-, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-, and strychnine (STR)-induced seizure models were investigated. Moreover, the procognitive properties of DL77 were tested on acquisition, consolidation and retrieval processes in a one-trial inhibitory avoidance task in male Wistar rats. The results indicate that DL77 (5, 10, and 15 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly and dose-dependently reduced MES-induced seizure duration, whereas no protection was observed in PTZ- or STR-induced seizures. Importantly, the protective action observed for DL77 in MES-induced seizure was comparable to that of the reference antiepileptic drug (AED) phenytoin (PHT), and was also reversed when rats were pretreated with the CNS penetrant pyrilamine (PYR) (10 mg/kg, i.p.), or with the selective H3R agonist R-(α)-methyl-histamine (RAMH) (10 mg/kg, i.p.). Furthermore, the procognitive studies indicate that acute pre-training systemic administration of DL77 (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.) facilitated acquisition, whereas pre-testing acute administration of DL77 (5 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.) improved retrieval. Interestingly, the procognitive effect of DL77 on retrieval was completely abrogated when rats were pretreated with the centrally-acting H2R antagonist zolantidine (ZOL) but not the centrally acting H1R antagonist PYR, indicating that histaminergic pathways through activation of H2Rs appear to be participating in neuronal circuits involved in retrieval processes. Taken together, our results show that DL77 demonstrates anticonvulsant properties in the MES-induced seizure model and improves cognitive performance through actions on different memory stages. Therefore, H3Rs may have implications for the treatment of degenerative disorders associated with impaired memory function and may represent a novel therapeutic pharmacological target to tackle cognitive problems associated with the chronic use of antiepileptic drugs. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Histamine Receptors'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Anticonvulsant
  • Epilepsy
  • Histamine H receptor
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Passive avoidance test
  • Pyrilamine
  • R-(α)-methyl-histamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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