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PACAP38- and VIP-induced cluster headache attacks are not associated with changes of plasma CGRP or markers of mast cell activation

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BACKGROUND: Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide-38 (PACAP38) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide can provoke cluster headache attacks in up to half of cluster headache patients in their active phase. At present, it is unknown whether provoked attacks are mediated via calcitonin gene-related peptide or mast cell activation.

METHODS: All enrolled patients with cluster headache were randomly allocated to receive a continuous infusion of either PACAP38 (10 pmol/kg/min) or vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (8 pmol/kg/min) over 20 min. We collected clinical data and measured plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide and markers of mast cell activation (tryptase and histamine) at fixed time points: at baseline (T0), at the end of the infusion (T20), 10 min after the infusion (T30), and 70 min after the infusion (T90).

RESULTS: Blood was collected from episodic cluster headache patients in active phase (n = 14), episodic cluster headache patients in remission (n = 15), and chronic cluster headache patients (n = 15). At baseline, plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide, tryptase, and histamine were not different among the three study groups. Plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide (p = 0.7074), tryptase (p = 0.6673), or histamine (p = 0.4792) remained unchanged during provoked attacks compared to attack-free patients.

CONCLUSION: Cluster headache attacks provoked by either PACAP38 or vasoactive intestinal polypeptide were not accompanied by alterations of plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide, tryptase or histamine. The provoked attacks may not be mediated by calcitonin gene-related peptide or mast cell activation.Trial Registration: The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03814226).

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Volume42
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)687-695
Number of pages9
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

    Research areas

  • CGRP, cluster headache, histamine, PACAP, tryptase

ID: 70268812