Migraine is a common disabling neurovascular primary headache disorder. The pathomechanism is not clear, but extensive preclinical and clinical studies are ongoing. The structural basis of the leading hypothesis is the trigeminovascular system, which includes the trigeminal ganglion, the meningeal vasculature, and the distinct nuclei of the brainstem, the thalamus and the somatosensory cortex. This review covers the effects of sensory (calcitonin gene-related peptide, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide and substance P), sympathetic (neuropeptide Y) and parasympathetic (vasoactive intestinal peptide) migraine-related neuropeptides and the functions of somatostatin, nociceptin and the orexins in the trigeminovascular system. These neuropeptides may take part in neurogenic inflammation (plasma protein extravasation and vasodilatation) of the intracranial vasculature and peripheral and central sensitization of the trigeminal system. The results of human clinical studies are discussed with regard to the alterations in these neuropeptides in the plasma, saliva and cerebrospinal fluid during or between migraine attacks, and the therapeutic possibilities involving migraine-related neuropeptides in the acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine headache are surveyed.
- Neurogenic inflammation
- Peripheral and central sensitization
- Trigeminovascular system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems