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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Feb 2023 - 3 Mar 2023


Molecular/Cellular, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Migraine/Headache, Neuropathic Pain

2023 Feb 18

Int J Mol Sci




Exploring Novel Therapeutic Targets in the Common Pathogenic Factors in Migraine and Neuropathic Pain.


Tajti J, Szok D, Csáti A, Szabó Á, Tanaka M, Vécsei L


Migraine and neuropathic pain (NP) are both painful, disabling, chronic conditions which exhibit some symptom similarities and are thus considered to share a common etiology. The calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) has gained credit as a target for migraine management; nevertheless, the efficacy and the applicability of CGRP modifiers warrant the search for more effective therapeutic targets for pain management. This scoping review focuses on human studies of common pathogenic factors in migraine and NP, with reference to available preclinical evidence to explore potential novel therapeutic targets. CGRP inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies alleviate inflammation in the meninges; targeting transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels may help prevent the release of nociceptive substances, and modifying the endocannabinoid system may open a path toward discovery of novel analgesics. There may exist a potential target in the tryptophan-kynurenine (KYN) metabolic system, which is closely linked to glutamate-induced hyperexcitability; alleviating neuroinflammation may complement a pain-relieving armamentarium, and modifying microglial excitation, which is observed in both conditions, may be a possible approach. Those are several potential analgesic targets which deserve to be explored in search of novel analgesics; however, much evidence remains missing. This review highlights the need for more studies on CGRP modifiers for subtypes, the discovery of TRP and endocannabinoid modulators, knowledge of the status of KYN metabolites, the consensus on cytokines and sampling, and biomarkers for microglial function, in search of innovative pain management methods for migraine and NP.