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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Dec 2023 - 15 Dec 2023

2023 Nov 21

Int J Mol Sci




Ion Channel Disturbances in Migraine Headache: Exploring the Potential Role of the Kynurenine System in the Context of the Trigeminovascular System.


Spekker E, Nagy-Grócz G, Vécsei L


Migraine is a primary headache disorder, which is an enormous burden to the healthcare system. While some aspects of the pathomechanism of migraines remain unknown, the most accepted theory is that activation and sensitization of the trigeminovascular system are essential during migraine attacks. In recent decades, it has been suggested that ion channels may be important participants in the pathogenesis of migraine. Numerous ion channels are expressed in the peripheral and central nervous systems, including the trigeminovascular system, affecting neuron excitability, synaptic energy homeostasis, inflammatory signaling, and pain sensation. Dysfunction of ion channels could result in neuronal excitability and peripheral or central sensitization. This narrative review covers the current understanding of the biological mechanisms leading to activation and sensitization of the trigeminovascular pain pathway, with a focus on recent findings on ion channel activation and modulation. Furthermore, we focus on the kynurenine pathway since this system contains kynurenic acid, which is an endogenous glutamate receptor antagonist substance, and it has a role in migraine pathophysiology.