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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Mar 2020 - 13 Mar 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development


2020 Mar 09

Mol Brain



Cortical potentiation induced by calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the insular cortex of adult mice.


Liu Y, Chen Q-Y, Lee J H, Li X-H, Yu S, Zhuo M
Mol Brain. 2020 Mar 09; 13(1):36.
PMID: 32151282.


Recent studies demonstrate that calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays critical roles in migraine. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization studies have shown that CGRP and its receptors are expressed in cortical areas that are critical for pain perception including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insular cortex (IC). Recent studies reported that CGRP enhanced excitatory transmission in the ACC. However, little is known about the possible effect of CGRP on excitatory transmission in the IC. In the present study, we investigated the role of CGRP on synaptic transmission in the IC slices of adult male mice. Bath application of CGRP produced dose-dependent potentiation of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs). This potentiation was NMDA receptor (NMDAR) independent. After application of CGRP1 receptor antagonist CGRP or BIBN 4096, CGRP produced potentiation was significantly reduced. Paired-pulse facilitation was significantly decreased by CGRP, suggesting possible presynaptic mechanisms. Consistently, bath application of CGRP significantly increased the frequency of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs and mEPSCs). By contrast, amplitudes of sEPSCs and mEPSCs were not significantly affected. Finally, adenylyl cyclase subtype 1 (AC1) and protein kinase A (PKA) are critical for CGRP-produced potentiation, since both selective AC1 inhibitor NB001 and the PKA inhibitor KT5720 completely blocked the potentiation. Our results provide direct evidence that CGRP contributes to synaptic potentiation in the IC, and the AC1 inhibitor NB001 may be beneficial for the treatment of migraine in the future.