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Differences in pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide and calcitonin gene-related peptide release in the trigeminovascular system

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BACKGROUND: Several neurotransmitters are expressed in the neurons of the trigeminal ganglion. One such signalling molecule is the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP). PACAP signalling has been suggested to have a possible role in the pathophysiology of primary headaches.

OBJECTIVE: The present study was designed to investigate the relationship between PACAP and calcitonin gene-related peptide, currently the two most relevant migraine peptides.

METHODS: In the current study, we used ELISA to investigate PACAP and calcitonin gene-related peptide release in response to 60 mM K+ or capsaicin using a rat hemi-skull model. We combined this analysis with qPCR and immunohistochemistry to study the expression of PACAP and calcitonin gene-related peptide receptors and ligands.

RESULTS: Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is released from the trigeminal ganglion and dura mater. In contrast, PACAP is only released from the trigeminal ganglion. We observed a weak correlation between the stimulated release of the two neuropeptides. PACAP-38 immunoreactivity was expressed alone and in a subpopulation of neurons in the trigeminal ganglion that also store calcitonin gene-related peptide. The receptor subtype PAC1 was mainly expressed in the satellite glial cells (SGCs), which envelop the neurons in the trigeminal ganglion, in some neuronal processes, inside the Aδ-fibres and in the outermost layer of the myelin sheath that envelopes the Aδ-fibres.

CONCLUSION: Unlike CGRP, PACAP is only released within the trigeminal ganglion. This raises the question of whether a migraine therapy aimed at preventing peripheral PACAP signalling would be as successful as the CGRP signalling targeted treatments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1296-1309
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • CGRP, hemi-skull model, PAC1 receptor, PACAP, Sensory nervous system, trigeminal ganglion

ID: 60209904