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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 Mar 2021 - 19 Mar 2021

Animal Studies


2021 Mar 10

Neurosci Lett

Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Inhibits Nitroglycerin-Induced Trigeminal Activation of Oxidative Stress, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide and c-Fos Expression.


Migraineurs experience increased oxidative stress which drives the initiation and maintenance of migraine-related pain in animal models and, by extension, migraine in humans. Oxidative stress augments calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) levels, a mediator of migraine pain. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a neuroprotective growth factor, reduces susceptibility to spreading depression, a preclinical model of migraine, in cultured brain slices by blocking oxidative stress and neuroinflammation from microglia. Similarly, nasal delivery of IGF-1 inhibits spreading depression in vivo. After recurrent cortical spreading depression, nasal administration of IGF-1 also significantly reduces trigeminal ganglion oxidative stress and CGRP levels as well as trigeminocervical c-Fos activation. Here, we probed for the impact of nasal IGF-1 pretreatment on trigeminal system activation using a second well-established preclinical model of migraine, systemic nitroglycerin injection. Adult male rats were treated with one of three doses of IGF-1 (37.5, 75 or 150 μg) and the optimal dose found in males was subsequently used for treatment of female rats. One day later, animals received an intraperitoneal injection of nitroglycerin. Measurements taken two hours later after nitroglycerin alone showed increased surrogate markers of trigeminal activation – oxidative stress and CGRP in the trigeminal ganglion and c-Fos in the trigeminocervical complex compared to vehicle control. These effects were significantly reduced at all doses of IGF-1 for trigeminal ganglion metrics of oxidative stress and CGRP and only at the lowest dose in both males and females for c-Fos. The latter inverted U-shaped or hormetic response is seen in enzyme-targeting drugs. While the specific mechanisms remain to be explored, our data here supports the ability of IGF-1 to preserve mitochondrial and antioxidant pathway homeostasis as means to prevent nociceptive activation in the trigeminal system produced by an experimental migraine model.