The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-14) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare to have no competing interests.
RG instructed the experiments, ASM performed the experiments. RG analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. CT revised the manuscript. All authors contributed to the idea of the study, and read and approved the final manuscript.
Experimental animal models of migraine have suggested the existence of interactions between the endocannabinoid system and pain mediation in migraine. Extensive evidence has demonstrated a role for the cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptor in antinociception. However, recent research suggests that also CB2 receptors, especially located outside the central nervous system, play a role in the perception of pain. Systemic administration of nitroglycerin (NTG) consistently induces spontaneous-like headache attacks in migraneurs; in the rat, systemic NTG induces a condition of hyperalgesia, probably through the activation of cerebral/spinal structures involved in nociceptive transmission. In this study we evaluated the role of CB2 receptors in two animal models of pain that may be relevant for migraine: the tail flick test and the formalin test performed during NTG-induced hyperalgesia.
The study was performed in male Sprague-Dawley rats pre-treated with NTG (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle (4 hours before) and treated with the CB2 agonist AM1241 o dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) 60 minutes before both the tail flick test and the formalin test.
AM1241 showed a significant analgesic effect in baseline conditions in both tests. Furthermore, when administered 3 hours after NTG administration, AM1241 at both doses significantly reduced the total number of flinches/shakes during phase II of the test.
These findings suggest that the pharmacological manipulation of the CB2 receptor may represent a potential therapeutic tool for the treatment of migraine.
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- Activation of CB2 receptors as a potential therapeutic target for migraine: evaluation in an animal model
Antonina Stefania Mangione
- Springer Milan
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