Cyproheptadine enhances the IK of mouse cortical neurons through sigma-1 receptor-mediated intracellular signal pathway

Yan Lin He, Chun Lei Zhang, Xiao Fei Gao, Jin Jing Yao, Chang Long Hu, Yan Ai Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Cyproheptadine (CPH) is a histamine- and serotonin-receptor antagonist, and its effects are observed recently in the modulation of multiple intracellular signals. In this study, we used cortical neurons and HEK-293 cells transfected with Kv2.1 α-subunit to address whether CPH modify neural voltage-gated K+ channels by a mechanism independent of its serotonergic and histaminergic properties. Our results demonstrate that intracellularly delivered CPH increased the IK by reducing the activity of protein kinas A (PKA). Inhibition of Gi eliminated the CPH-induced effect on both the IK and PKA. Blocking of 5-HT-, M-, D2-, H1- or H2- type GPCR receptors with relevant antagonists did not eliminate the CPH-induced effect on the IK. Antagonists of the sigma-1 receptor, however, blocked the effect of CPH. Moreover, the inhibition of sigma-1 by siRNA knockdown significantly reduced the CPH-induced effect on the IK. On the contrary, sigma-1 receptor agonist mimicked the effects of CPH on the induction of IK. A ligand-receptor binding assay indicated that CPH bound to the sigma-1 receptor. Similar effect of CPH were obtained from HEK-293 cells transfected with the α-subunit of Kv2.1. In overall, we reveal for the first time that CPH enhances the IK by modulating activity of PKA, and that the associated activation of the sigma-1 receptor/Gi-protein pathway might be involved. Our findings illustrate an uncharacterized effect of CPH on neuron excitability through the IK, which is independent of histamine H1 and serotonin receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere41303
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 23 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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