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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Jul 2019 - 26 Jul 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


Role of Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in mast cell mediated trigeminal pain pathway.


Ramachandran R, Wang Z, Saavedra C, Corr M, Di Nardo A, Powell SB, Yaksh T
Mol Pain. 2019 Jan-Dec; 15:1744806919867842.
PMID: 31342858.


Degranulation of meningeal mast cells leading to a sensitization of trigeminal vascular afferent processing is believed to be one of the mechanisms underlying the migraine pain pathway. Recent work suggests that Toll-receptor 4 (TLR4) may be involved in signaling states of central sensitization. Using a murine model of light aversion produced by compound 48/80 (2 mg/kg, i.p.) mast cell degranulation, employed as a surrogate marker for photophobia observed in migraineurs, we examined the role of TLR4 in migraine-like behavior and neuronal activation. Using a two-chambered light/dark box, we found that compound 48/80 administration in male and female C57Bl/6 mice produced light aversion lasting up to 2 hours, and that pre-treatment with sumatriptan (1 mg/kg, i.p.) reliably prevented this effect. Genetic deletion and pharmacological blockade of TLR4 with TAK-242 (3 mg/kg, i.p.) reversed the light aversive effects of compound 48/80 in males, but not in females. Assessing the downstream signaling pathway in mutant mice, we found that the TLR4 mediated, light aversion was dependent upon MyD88, but not TRIF signaling. In separate groups, male mice sacrificed at 10 min following compound 48/80 revealed a significant increase in the incidence of evoked p-ERK (+) neurons in the nucleus caudalis of WT, but not Tlr4-/- mice or in mice pretreated with sumatriptan. The present study thus provides the first evidence for involvement of TLR4 signaling through MyD88 in initiating and maintaining migraine-like behavior and nucleus caudalis neuronal activation in the mouse.