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      Nitric Oxide Releases Calcitonin-Gene-Related Peptide from Rat Dura mater Encephali Promoting Increases in Meningeal Blood Flow


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          Nitric oxide (NO) and calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP) are implicated in the pathophysiology of vascular headaches. We studied the interaction of these two vasodilatory mediators in an animal model and suggest that NO may increase meningeal blood flow not only by its direct vasodilatory action but also by stimulating CGRP release. First, CGRP release from the rat cranial dura mater was measured in vitro using an enzyme immunoassay. Hemisected skulls with adhering dura mater were filled with synthetic interstitial fluid and stimulated with the NO donor diethylamine-NONOate (10<sup>–5</sup>–10<sup>–3</sup> M) or with NO gas (1,000 ppm), which caused concentration-dependent increases in CGRP release up to 166.8%. Second, meningeal blood flow was recorded in vivo in the exposed dura mater using laser Doppler flowmetry. Topical application of the NO donors NONOate, S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine and N-ethyl-2-(1-ethyl-2-hydroxy-2-nitrosohydrazino)-ethenamine (10<sup>–5</sup>–10<sup>–3</sup> M) caused concentration-dependent increases in blood flow. These increases were significantly reduced by local preliminary application of the CGRP receptor antagonist CGRP<sub>8–37</sub> (10<sup>–4</sup> M). We conclude that NO stimulates the release of CGRP from dural afferents. The blood-flow-increasing effect of NO seems to be partly mediated by CGRP. The interaction of NO and CGRP may be relevant for the development of vascular headaches.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Release of substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide and prostaglandin E2 from rat dura mater encephali following electrical and chemical stimulation in vitro.

          Neurogenic inflammation of the dura, expressed in plasma extravasation and vasodilatation, putatively contributes to different types of headache. A novel in vitro preparation of the fluid-filled skull cavities was developed to measure mediator release from dura mater encephali upon antidromic electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion and after application of a mixture of inflammatory mediators (serotonin, histamine and bradykinin, 10(-5) M each, pH 6.1) to the arachnoid side of rat dura. The release of calcitonin gene-related peptide, substance P and prostaglandin E2 from dura mater was measured in 5-min samples of superfusates using enzyme immunoassays. Orthodromic chemical and antidromic electrical stimulation of dural afferents caused significant release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (2.8- and 4.5-fold of baseline). The neuropeptide was found to be increased during the 5-min stimulation period and returned to baseline (20.9 +/- 12 pg/ml) in the sampling period after stimulation. In contrast, release of substance P remained at baseline levels (19.3 +/- 11 pg/ml) throughout the experiment. Prostaglandin E2 release was elevated during chemical and significantly also after antidromic electrical stimulation (6- and 4.2-fold of baseline, which was 305 +/- 250 pg/ml). Prostaglandin E2 release outlasted the stimulation period for at least another 5 min. The data support the hypothesis of neurogenic inflammation being involved in headaches and provide new evidence for prostaglandin E2 possibly facilitating meningeal nociceptor excitation and, hence, pain.
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            Nitric oxide is a key molecule in migraine and other vascular headaches.

            Nitric oxide (NO) may play a key role in migraine and other vascular headaches since glyceryl trinitrate (a donor of NO) and histamine (which probably activates endothelial NO formation) both cause a pulsating dose-dependent headache with several migrainous characteristics. At relatively high doses of glyceryl trinitrate, migraine sufferers develop stronger and more migraine-like headaches and more pronounced cerebral arterial dilatation than controls. After the infusion of glyceryl trinitrate, non-migraineurs remain headache-free while migraineurs develop a migraine-like attack. In this review, Jes Olesen, Lars Thomsen and Helle Iversen suggest that migraine may be caused by increased amounts and/or affinity of an enzyme in the NO-triggered cascade of reactions. NO may also be involved in the pathogenesis of other vascular headaches.
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              Neuropeptides in migraine and cluster headache.

              The cerebral circulation is invested by a rich network of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and noradrenaline containing sympathetic nerve fibers in arteries, arterioles and veins. However, the nerve supply of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) containing fibers is sparse. While noradrenaline and NPY cause vasoconstriction, VIP, SP and CGRP are potent vasodilators. Stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion in cat and man elicits release of SP and CGRP. Subjects with spontaneous attacks of migraine show release of CGRP in parallel with headache. Cluster headache patients have release of CGRP and VIP during bouts. Treatment with sumatriptan aborts headache in migraine and cluster headache as well as the concomitant peptide release.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                December 2002
                17 January 2003
                : 39
                : 6
                : 489-496
                aDepartment of Physiology and Experimental Pathophysiology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany, and bDepartment of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
                67206 J Vasc Res 2002;39:489–496
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, References: 59, Pages: 8
                Research Paper


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