Systemic administration of nitroglycerin (NTG), a nitric oxide (NO) donor, in migraineurs triggers after several hours an attack of which the precise mechanisms are unknown. We found previously in rats that nitroglycerin (10 mg/kg s.c.) is able to increase significantly after 4 h the number of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-immunoreactive neurones in the cervical part of trigeminal nucleus caudalis. In the present experiments, we demonstrate that the 5-HT1B/D agonist sumatriptan (0.6 mg/kg s.c.) does not alter this phenomenon when given before NTG. By contrast, pretreatment with lysine acetylsalicylate (50 mg/kg i.m.) attenuates the NTG-induced nNOS expression in the superficial laminae of trigeminal nucleus caudalis. These findings suggest that effect of NTG on nNOS at a high dosage may involve the cycloxygenase pathway and that activation of the peripheral 5-HT1B/D receptors is not able to modify this effect. These data could help to better understand the role of NO in the pathogenesis of headaches and the action of antimigraine drugs.
- Caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus
- Lysine acetylsalicylate
- Nitric oxide synthase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology