Nitroglycerin-induced headache is not dependent on histamine release: support for a direct nociceptive action of nitric oxide

H K Iversen, J Olesen

Abstract

The molecular mechanisms of migraine pain have not yet been clarified. Monoamine and the peptide neurotransmitters involved in neurogenic inflammation do not cause significant head pain. Our previous studies of glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) and histamine-induced headaches have suggested that nitric oxide (NO) is the causative molecule in migraine pain. We furthermore suggest that substances capable of inducing experimental vascular headache do so via a common mediator which is NO. Finally, it is suggested that drugs exert their antimigraine activity by inhibiting NO or subsequent steps in the cascade of intracellular reactions triggered by NO. These novel observations change current views on vascular headache mechanisms and the importance of NO as an initiator of the migraine attacks dictates new approaches to the pharmacological treatment of migraine and other vascular headaches.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Vol/bind14
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)437-42
Antal sider6
ISSN0333-1024
DOI
StatusUdgivet - dec. 1994
Udgivet eksterntJa

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