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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Aug 2022 - 26 Aug 2022


2022 Aug 04




ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channels in Migraine: Translational Findings and Therapeutic Potential.


Clement A, Guo S, Jansen-Olesen I, Christensen S L
Cells. 2022 Aug 04; 11(15).
PMID: 35954249.


Globally, migraine is a leading cause of disability with a huge impact on both the work and private life of affected persons. To overcome the societal migraine burden, better treatment options are needed. Increasing evidence suggests that ATP-sensitive potassium (K) channels are involved in migraine pathophysiology. These channels are essential both in blood glucose regulation and cardiovascular homeostasis. Experimental infusion of the K channel opener levcromakalim to healthy volunteers and migraine patients induced headache and migraine attacks in 82-100% of participants. Thus, this is the most potent trigger of headache and migraine identified to date. Levcromakalim likely induces migraine via dilation of cranial arteries. However, other neuronal mechanisms are also proposed. Here, basic K channel distribution, physiology, and pharmacology are reviewed followed by thorough review of clinical and preclinical research on K channel involvement in migraine. K channel opening and blocking have been studied in a range of preclinical migraine models and, within recent years, strong evidence on the importance of their opening in migraine has been provided from human studies. Despite major advances, translational difficulties exist regarding the possible anti-migraine efficacy of K channel blockage. These are due to significant species differences in the potency and specificity of pharmacological tools targeting the various K channel subtypes.