The modulatory effect of anandamide on nitroglycerin-induced sensitization in the trigeminal system of the rat

Gábor Nagy-Grócz, Lilla Tar, Zsuzsanna Bohár, Annamária Fejes-Szabó, Klaudia Flóra Laborc, Eleonóra Spekker, László Vécsei, Árpád Párdutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background One of the human and animal models of migraine is the systemic administration of the nitric oxide donor (NO) nitroglycerin (NTG). NO can provoke migraine-like attacks in migraineurs and initiates a self-amplifying process in the trigeminal system, probably leading to central sensitization. Recent studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system is involved in nociceptive signal processing and cannabinoid receptor (CB) agonists are able to attenuate nociception in animal models of pain. Aim The purpose of the present study was to investigate the modulatory effects of a CB agonist anandamide (AEA) on the NTG-induced expression of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), nuclear factor kappa B (NF-B), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and kynurenine aminotransferase-II (KAT-II) in the upper cervical spinal cord (C1-C2) of the rat, where most of the trigeminal nociceptive afferents convey. Methods A half hour before and one hour after NTG (10 mg/kg) or placebo injection, adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 44) were treated with AEA (2 × 5 mg/kg). Four hours after placebo/NTG injection, the animals were perfused and the cervical spinal cords were removed for immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Results and conclusion Our results show that NTG is able to increase TRPV1, nNOS, NF-B and COX-2 and decrease KAT-II expression in the C1-C2 segments. On the other hand, we have found that AEA modulates the NTG-induced changes, thus it influences the activation and central sensitization process in the trigeminal system, probably via CBs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-861
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • COX-2
  • KAT-II
  • Migraine
  • NF-B
  • TRPV1
  • anandamide
  • nNOS
  • nitroglycerin
  • trigeminal system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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