Role of histaminergic neurons in hypnotic modulation of brain processing of visceral perception

S. Watanabe, T. Hattori, M. Kanazawa, M. Kano, S. Fukudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Modulating visceral sensation of the body is important to the understanding of emotion formation. Molecules that act during hypnosis and modify visceral pain perception are not known. We tested our hypothesis that hypnotic suggestion changes electrophysiological processing of visceroafferent signals in the human brain and that these conditions are in part dependent on histaminergic neurons. Twelve healthy male subjects were studied on two separate days: a day of treatment with histamine H1 receptor antagonist (d-chlorpheniramine 100 μg kg-1, intravenously) and another day of that with placebo (saline, the same amount) in a randomized order. We recorded cortical evoked potentials to 100 rectal electrical stimuli after neutral, hyperalgesic or analgesic hypnotic suggestions as given to modulate the visceral perception. Analgesic suggestion reduced the amplitude of the deepest positive peak of viscerosensory evoked potential. Administration of histamine H1 antagonist diminished the attenuation of viscerosensory evoked potential by analgesic suggestion. Our results suggest that central pain modulatory system in the brain is activated by hypnotic suggestion and that brain histamine is a mediator in the hypnotic modulation of visceral sensory pathway as well as in the control of consciousness level. These findings lead us to possible new treatment for control of visceral perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-838
Number of pages8
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Oct


  • Central pain modulatory system
  • Cerebral evoked potential
  • Histamine H receptor
  • Hypnotic suggestion
  • Visceral hypersensitivity
  • Visceral perception


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