Migraine: New molecular mechanisms
ABSTRACT Migraine is an episodic headache disorder affecting more than 10% of the general population. Migraine arises from a primary brain dysfunction that leads to activation and sensitization of the trigeminovascular system. A major incompletely understood issue in the neurobiology of migraine concerns the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the primary brain dysfunction and lead to activation and sensitization of the trigeminovascular system, thus generating and maintaining migraine pain. Here the author reviews recent discoveries that have advanced our understanding of these mechanisms toward a unifying pathophysiological hypothesis, in which cortical spreading depression (CSD), the phenomenon underlying migraine aura, assumes a key role. In particular, the author discusses the main recent findings in the genetics and neurobiology of familial hemiplegic migraine and the insights they provide into the molecular and cellular mechanisms that may lead to the increased susceptibility of CSD in migraineurs.
The Open Pain Journal 05/2010; 3(2):3-13. DOI:10.2174/1876386301003020003
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: CaV2.1 Ca2+ channels play a key role in triggering neurotransmitter release and mediating synaptic transmission. Familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 (FHM-1) is caused by missense mutations in the CACNA1A gene that encodes the α1A pore-forming subunit of CaV2.1 Ca2+ channels. We used knock-in (KI) transgenic mice harbouring the pathogenic FHM-1 mutation R192Q to study inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission in the principle neurons of the lateral superior olive (LSO) in the auditory brainstem. We tested if the R192Q FHM-1 mutation differentially affects excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission, disturbing the normal balance between excitation and inhibition in this nucleus. Whole cell patch-clamp was used to measure neurotransmitter elicited excitatory (EPSCs) and inhibitory (IPSCs) postsynaptic currents in wild-type (WT) and R192Q KI mice. Our results showed that the FHM-1 mutation in CaV2.1 channels has multiple effects. Evoked EPSC amplitudes were smaller whereas evoked and miniature IPSC amplitudes were larger in R192Q KI compared to WT mice. In addition, in R192Q KI mice, the release probability was enhanced compared to WT, at both inhibitory (0.53 ± 0.02 vs. 0.44 ± 0.01, P = 2.10−5, Student's t-test) and excitatory synapses (0.60 ± 0.03 vs. 0.45 ± 0.02, P = 4 10−6, Student's t-test). Vesicle pool size was diminished in R192Q KI mice compared to WT mice (68 ± 6 vs 91 ± 7, P = 0.008, inhibitory; 104 ± 13 vs 335 ± 30, P = 10−6, excitatory, Student's t-test). R192Q KI mice present enhanced short-term plasticity. Repetitive stimulation of the afferent axons caused short-term depression (STD) of E/IPSCs that recovered significantly faster in R192Q KI mice compared to WT. This supports the hypothesis of a gain-of-function of the CaV2.1 channels in R192Q KI mice, which alters the balance of excitatory/inhibitory inputs and could also have implications in the altered cortical excitability responsible for FHM pathology.Hearing Research 12/2014; 319. DOI:10.1016/j.heares.2014.11.006 · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis and migraine with aura are clinically correlated and both show imaging changes suggestive of myelin disruption. Furthermore, cortical myelin loss in the cuprizone animal model of multiple sclerosis enhances susceptibility to spreading depression, the likely underlying cause of migraine with aura. Since multiple sclerosis pathology involves inflammatory T cell lymphocyte production of interferon-gamma and a resulting increase in oxidative stress, we tested the hypothesis that spreading depression disrupts myelin through similar signaling pathways. Rat hippocampal slice cultures were initially used to explore myelin loss in spreading depression, since they contain T cells, and allow for controlled tissue microenvironment. These experiments were then translated to the in vivo condition in neocortex. Spreading depression in slice cultures induced significant loss of myelin integrity and myelin basic protein one day later, with gradual recovery by seven days. Myelin basic protein loss was abrogated by T cell depletion, neutralization of interferon-gamma, and pharmacological inhibition of neutral sphingomyelinase-2. Conversely, one day after exposure to interferon-gamma, significant reductions in spreading depression threshold, increases in oxidative stress, and reduced levels of glutathione, an endogenous neutral sphingomyelinase-2 inhibitor, emerged. Similarly, spreading depression triggered significant T cell accumulation, sphingomyelinase activation, increased oxidative stress, and reduction of gray and white matter myelin in vivo. Myelin disruption is involved in spreading depression, thereby providing pathophysiological links between multiple sclerosis and migraine with aura. Myelin disruption may promote spreading depression by enhancing aberrant excitability. Thus, preservation of myelin integrity may provide novel therapeutic targets for migraine with aura. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.Experimental Neurology 12/2014; 264. DOI:10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.12.001 · 4.62 Impact Factor