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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 April 2024 - 19 April 2024

2024 Mar 25





Glycerol Trinitrate Acts Downstream of Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide in Trigeminal Nociception-Evidence from Rodent Experiments with Anti-CGRP Antibody Fremanezumab.


Benedicter N, Vogler B, Kuhn A, Schramm J, Mackenzie KD, Stratton J, Dux M, Messlinger K


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and nitric oxide (NO) have been recognized as important mediators in migraine but their mechanisms of action and interaction have not been fully elucidated. Monoclonal anti-CGRP antibodies like fremanezumab are successful preventives of frequent migraine and can be used to study CGRP actions in preclinical experiments. Fremanezumab (30 mg/kg) or an isotype control monoclonal antibody was subcutaneously injected to Wistar rats of both sexes. One to several days later, glyceroltrinitrate (GTN, 5 mg/kg) mimicking nitric oxide (NO) was intraperitoneally injected, either once or for three consecutive days. The trigeminal ganglia were removed to determine the concentration of CGRP using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In one series of experiments, the animals were trained to reach an attractive sugar solution, the access to which could be limited by mechanical or thermal barriers. Using a semi-automated registration system, the frequency of approaches to the source, the residence time at the source, and the consumed solution were registered. The results were compared with previous data of rats not treated with GTN. The CGRP concentration in the trigeminal ganglia was generally higher in male rats and tended to be increased in animals treated once with GTN, whereas the CGRP concentration decreased after repetitive GTN treatment. No significant difference in CGRP concentration was observed between animals having received fremanezumab or the control antibody. Animals treated with GTN generally spent less time at the source and consumed less sugar solution. Without barriers, there was no significant difference between animals having received fremanezumab or the control antibody. Under mechanical barrier conditions, all behavioral parameters tended to be reduced but animals that had received fremanezumab tended to be more active, partly compensating for the depressive effect of GTN. In conclusion, GTN treatment seems to increase the production of CGRP in the trigeminal ganglion independently of the antibodies applied, but repetitive GTN administration may deplete CGRP stores. GTN treatment generally tends to suppress the animals’ activity and increase facial sensitivity, which is partly compensated by fremanezumab through reduced CGRP signaling. If CGRP and NO signaling share the same pathway in sensitizing trigeminal afferents, GTN and NO may act downstream of CGRP to increase facial sensitivity.