Utility of different outcome measures for the nitroglycerin model of migraine in mice

Sándor Farkas, Kata Bölcskei, Adrienn Markovics, Anita Varga, Ágnes Kis-Varga, Viktória Kormos, Balázs Gaszner, Csilla Horváth, Bernadett Tuka, János Tajti, Zsuzsanna Helyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Majority of the work for establishing nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced migraine models in animals was done in rats, though recently some studies in mice were also reported. Different special formulations of NTG were investigated in various studies; however, NTG treated groups were often compared to simple saline treated control groups. The aim of the present studies was to critically assess the utility of a panel of potential outcome measures in mice by revisiting previous findings and investigating endpoints that have not been tested in mice yet. Methods: We investigated two NTG formulations, Nitrolingual and Nitro Pohl, at an intraperitoneal dose of 10. mg/kg, in comparison with relevant vehicle controls, and evaluated the following outcome measures: light aversive behaviour, cranial blood perfusion by laser Doppler imaging, number of c-Fos- and neuronal nitrogen monoxide synthase (nNOS)-immunoreactive neurons in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) and trigeminal ganglia, thermal hyperalgesia and tactile allodynia of the hind paw and orofacial pain hypersensitivity. Results: We could not confirm previous reports of significant NTG-induced changes in light aversion and cranial blood perfusion of mice but we observed considerable effects elicited by the vehicle of Nitrolingual. In contrast, the vehicle of Nitro Pohl was apparently inert. Increased c-Fos expression in the TNC, thermal hyperalgesia, tactile allodynia and orofacial hypersensitivity were apparently good endpoints in mice that were increased by NTG-administration. The NTG-induced increase in c-Fos expression was prevented by topiramate but not by sumatriptan treatment. However, the NTG-induced orofacial hypersensitivity was dose dependently attenuated by sumatriptan. Discussion: Our results pointed to utilisable NTG formulations and outcome measures for NTG-induced migraine models in mice. Pending further cross-validation with positive and negative control drugs in these mouse models and in the human NTG models of migraine, these tests might be valuable translational research tools for development of new anti-migraine drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • C-Fos
  • Cranial blood flow
  • Light aversion
  • Methods
  • Migraine
  • NNOS
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Orofacial allodynia
  • Thermal hyperalgesia
  • Trigeminovascular system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Utility of different outcome measures for the nitroglycerin model of migraine in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this