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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Jun 2023 - 16 Jun 2023


Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jun 01

J Neuroimmunol



The status of knowledge on migraines: The role of microglia.


He W, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Zhou J


Migraines are a considerable social problem and economic burden worldwide. Current acute treatments are based on inhibiting meningeal neurogenic inflammation which has poor results in some patients, whereas the site of action of prophylactic medicines are unknown; therefore, exploring new treatment mechanisms and methods is increasingly needed. Recent evidence suggests that microglia and microglia-mediated neuroinflammation are important in migraine pathogenesis. In the cortical spreading depression (CSD) migraine model, microglia were activated after multiple CSD stimulations, suggesting that microglial activation may be associated with recurrent attacks of migraine with aura. In the nitroglycerin-induced chronic migraine model, the microglial response to extracellular stimuli leads to the activation of surface purine receptors P2X4、P2X7、P2Y12, which mediate signal transduction through intracellular signalling cascades, such as the BDNF/TrkB, NLRP3/IL-1β and RhoA/ROCK signalling pathways, and release inflammatory mediators and cytokines that enhance pain by increasing the excitability of nearby neurons. Inhibition of the expression or function of these microglial receptors and pathways inhibits the abnormal excitability of TNC (trigeminal nucleus caudalis) neurons and intracranial as well as extracranial hyperalgesia in migraine animal models. These findings suggest that microglia may be central in migraine recurrent attacks and a potential target for the treatment of chronic headaches.