Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) levels during glyceryl trinitrate (GTN)-induced headache in healthy volunteers

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The role of nitric oxide (NO) in migraine has been studied in the experimental glyceryl trinitrate (GTN)-infusion headache model. We hypothesized that GTN-induced headache may activate the trigeminovascular system and be associated with increased levels of sensory neuropeptides, including calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and somatostatin plasma levels were measured before and after placebo/sumatriptan injection and during GTN-induced headache. Following a double-blind randomized cross-over design, 10 healthy volunteers received subcutaneous sumatriptan 6 mg or placebo. This was succeeded by 20 min of GTN (0.12 µg kg(-1) min(-1)) infusion. At baseline no subject reported headache (using verbal rating scale from 0 to 10) and the jugular CGRP-like immunoreactivity (-LI) level was 18.6 ± 2.5 pmol/l. After a 20-min intravenous infusion of GTN 0.12 µg kg(-1) min(-1), median peak headache intensity was 4 (range 2-6) (P < 0.05), while jugular CGRP-LI levels were unchanged (19.0 ± 2.8 pmol/l; P > 0.05). There were no changes in VIP-, NPY- or somatostatin-LI. In conclusion, the NO donor GTN appears not to induce headache via immediate CGRP release.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)467-74
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

    Research areas

  • Adult, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide, Cross-Over Studies, Female, Headache, Humans, Male, Neuropeptide Y, Nitric Oxide, Nitric Oxide Donors, Nitroglycerin, Reference Values, Somatostatin, Sumatriptan, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, Vasoconstrictor Agents

ID: 128983016