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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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A unique inbred rat strain with sustained cephalic hypersensitivity as a model of chronic migraine-like pain

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Animal models of migraine-like pain enabling ongoing study of behaviour typically involve the systemic administration of chemical vasodilators or dural administration of inflammatory algogens. However, neither method mediates prolonged effects on behavior indicative of enduring pathophysiological changes occurring within dural or trigeminal pain circuits. We generated successive generations of a unique inbred rat strain, spontaneous trigeminal allodynia (STA) rats, previously reported to exhibit an episodic migraine-like behavioural phenotype. We show that both male and female STA rats display robust and sustained reductions in periorbital thresholds to cutaneous mechanical stimulation. Otherwise, the general behavior (e.g. locomotor, grooming) of these rats appeared normal. In female STA rats, the mechanical hypersensitivity was confined to the cephalic region, manifested after puberty through adolescence, and was sustained into adulthood recapitulating the clinical manifestation of migraine. We exploited this hitherto unidentified chronic phenotype to show that the migraine-specific drugs sumatriptan (5-HT1B/1Dreceptor agonist) and olcegepant (CGRP receptor antagonist) could completely reverse cephalic hypersensitivity using a within subject cross-over paradigm. Our findings indicate that STA rats actually possess a phenotype indicative of migraine chronicity which is exquisitely sensitive to migraine therapeutics. This unique strain could prove to be an invaluable resource in preclinical migraine drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1836
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 52736890