Background: In the dura mater encephali a significant population of trigeminal afferents coexpress the nociceptive ion channel transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Release of CGRP serves the central transmission of sensory information, initiates local tissue reactions and may also sensitize the nociceptive pathway. To reveal the possible activation of meningeal TRPV1 receptors by endogenously synthetized agonists, the effects of arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide) and N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA) were studied on dural vascular reactions and meningeal CGRP release. Methods: Changes in meningeal blood flow were measured with laser Doppler flowmetry in a rat open cranial window preparation following local dural applications of anandamide and NADA. The release of CGRP evoked by endovanilloids was measured with ELISA in an in vitro dura mater preparation. Results: Topical application of NADA induced a significant dose-dependent increase in meningeal blood flow that was markedly inhibited by pretreatments with the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine, the CGRP antagonist CGRP8–37, or by prior systemic capsaicin desensitization. Administration of anandamide resulted in minor increases in meningeal blood flow that was turned into vasoconstriction at the higher concentration. In the in vitro dura mater preparation NADA evoked a significant increase in CGRP release. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors of CGRP releasing nerve fibers seem to counteract the TRPV1 agonistic effect of anandamide in a dose-dependent fashion, a result which is confirmed by the facilitating effect of CB1 receptor inhibition on CGRP release and its reversing effect on the blood flow. Conclusions: The present findings demonstrate that endovanilloids are potential activators of meningeal TRPV1 receptors and, consequently the trigeminovascular nocisensor complex that may play a significant role in the pathophysiology of headaches. The results also suggest that prejunctional CB1 receptors may modulate meningeal vascular responses.
- Dura mater encephali
- Meningeal blood flow
- Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1
- Trigeminovascular nocisensor complex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine