CGRP blockers in migraine therapy: where do they act?

54 Citations (Scopus)


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is expressed throughout the CNS and peripheral nervous system, consistent with control of vasodilatation, nociception, motor function, secretion and olfaction. AlphaCGRP is prominently localized in primary afferent C and Adelta fibres of spinal and trigeminal ganglia. Activation of the trigeminal nerve results in antidromic release of CGRP, acting through a CGRP1 receptor. Antagonists of CGRP1 receptors reduce signalling in the trigeminovascular pathway at multiple sites, putatively inside the blood-brain barrier. Other ways of interacting with CGRP mechanisms have appeared limiting the availability of CGRP in the circulation with a specific CGRP antibody or with a CGRP-binding RNA-Spiegelmer. Either way reduces neurogenic inflammation and attenuates signalling within the trigeminovascular pathway. Specific CGRP receptor blockade has been shown to reduce the effect of released CGRP and to abort acute migraine attacks. The novel approach of reducing available CGRP is limited by the blood-brain barrier; its usefulness may be more as prophylaxis rather than as acute treatment of migraine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)967-9
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders
  • Receptors, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trigeminal Nerve


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