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Triptans are serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1B/D agonists that are highly effective in the treatment of migraine. We previously found that rizatriptan can reduce the expression of proenkephalin and P substance in the rat midbrain, suggesting that rizatriptan may exert its analgesic effects by influencing the endogenous pain modulatory system. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and cholecystokinin (CCK) are mainly responsible for antagonizing the analgesic effects of opioid peptides in the endogenous pain modulatory system. In this study, we investigated the effects of rizatriptan on the expression of CGRP and CCK in the periaqueductal gray (PAG), a key structure of the endogenous pain modulatory system, in a rat migraine model induced by nitroglycerin. We found that the mRNA and protein levels of CGRP and CCK in the PAG of migraine rats were significantly increased compared to those in control rats, and these levels were significantly reduced upon treatment with rizatriptan in migraine rats (P<0.05). Our results suggest that the expression of CGRP and CCK in the endogenous pain modulatory system may be increased during migraine attacks, which further antagonizes the analgesic effects of endogenous opioid peptides and induces sustained migraine. Rizatriptan, however, significantly reduces the levels of CGRP and CCK to enhance the inhibition of pain signals via the endogenous pain modulatory system, resulting in effective treatment of migraine. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Citation

Gang Yao, Ximei Han, Tingting Hao, Qian Huang, Tingmin Yu. Effects of rizatriptan on the expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide and cholecystokinin in the periaqueductal gray of a rat migraine model. Neuroscience letters. 2015 Feb 5;587:29-34

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PMID: 25524408

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