A glial variant of the vesicular monoamine transporter is required to store histamine in the Drosophila visual system.

TitleA glial variant of the vesicular monoamine transporter is required to store histamine in the Drosophila visual system.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsRomero-Calderón, R, Uhlenbrock G, Borycz J, Simon AF, Grygoruk A, Yee SK, Shyer A, Ackerson LC, Maidment NT, Meinertzhagen IA, Hovemann BT, Krantz DE
JournalPLoS genetics
Volume4
Issue11
Paginatione1000245
Date Published2008 Nov
ISSN1553-7404
KeywordsAnimals, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila Proteins, histamine, Mutation, Neuroglia, Optic Lobe, Nonmammalian, Protein Isoforms, RNA Splicing, Vesicular Monoamine Transport Proteins
Abstract

Unlike other monoamine neurotransmitters, the mechanism by which the brain's histamine content is regulated remains unclear. In mammals, vesicular monoamine transporters (VMATs) are expressed exclusively in neurons and mediate the storage of histamine and other monoamines. We have studied the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster in which histamine is the primary neurotransmitter released from photoreceptor cells. We report here that a novel mRNA splice variant of Drosophila VMAT (DVMAT-B) is expressed not in neurons but rather in a small subset of glia in the lamina of the fly's optic lobe. Histamine contents are reduced by mutation of dVMAT, but can be partially restored by specifically expressing DVMAT-B in glia. Our results suggest a novel role for a monoamine transporter in glia that may be relevant to histamine homeostasis in other systems.

Alternate JournalPLoS Genet.