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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Jan 2024 - 26 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 18

Free Radic Biol Med


Rebalancing NOX2/Nrf2 to limit inflammation and oxidative stress across gut-brain axis in migraine.


Ardizzone A, Capra AP, Repici A, Lanza M, Bova V, Palermo N, Paterniti I, Esposito E


Migraine is one of the most common neurological illnesses, and it is characterized by complicated neurobiology. It was confirmed the influence of inflammation and oxidative stress in migraines and also in distal organs such as the intestine. Indeed, the constant bidirectional communication between the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, known as the gut-brain axis, has become an attractive target involved in different human disorders. Herein, we explored the role of NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) in nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced migraine in mice models to discover the mechanism by which, during migraine attack, oxidative stress is sustained within trigeminal neurons and GI. Considering the inverse relationship between NOX2 and Nrf2, Nrf2 upregulation seems to be a promising approach to decrease NOX2 expression and consequently limit oxidative stress and inflammation spread in neurological and non-neurological diseases. With this aim, we exploited tempol’s Nrf2-inducer ability to better understand the involvement of Nrf2/NOX2 axis in migraine and associated GI comorbidities. Behavioral tests confirmed that tempol, in a dose-dependent manner, moderated clinical signs of migraine and abdominal pain. Moreover, we demonstrated that the decrease in migraine-related symptomatology was strongly linked to the modulation of Nrf2/NOX2 signaling pathway in the brain and colon. In the brain, the rebalancing of Nrf2/NOX2 prevented neuronal loss, decreased glia reactivity while inhibiting NF-κB and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In the colon, Nrf2 upregulation and consequent NOX2 decrease reduced the histological damage, mast cells infiltration as well as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β release. Furthermore, the attenuation of inflammation and oxidative stress led to the restoration of the intestinal barrier through TJs replacement. Taken as a whole, data suggested that the regulation of Nrf2/NOX2 balance is a successful way to reduce neurological and related intestinal impairments during migraine and could be of relevance for migraine-like attacks in humans.