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Neuroscience. 1999 Mar;89(3):901-7.

Release of substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide and prostaglandin E2 from rat dura mater encephali following electrical and chemical stimulation in vitro.

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University of Jena, Department of Physiology I, Germany.


Neurogenic inflammation of the dura, expressed in plasma extravasation and vasodilatation, putatively contributes to different types of headache. A novel in vitro preparation of the fluid-filled skull cavities was developed to measure mediator release from dura mater encephali upon antidromic electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion and after application of a mixture of inflammatory mediators (serotonin, histamine and bradykinin, 10(-5) M each, pH 6.1) to the arachnoid side of rat dura. The release of calcitonin gene-related peptide, substance P and prostaglandin E2 from dura mater was measured in 5-min samples of superfusates using enzyme immunoassays. Orthodromic chemical and antidromic electrical stimulation of dural afferents caused significant release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (2.8- and 4.5-fold of baseline). The neuropeptide was found to be increased during the 5-min stimulation period and returned to baseline (20.9 +/- 12 pg/ml) in the sampling period after stimulation. In contrast, release of substance P remained at baseline levels (19.3 +/- 11 pg/ml) throughout the experiment. Prostaglandin E2 release was elevated during chemical and significantly also after antidromic electrical stimulation (6- and 4.2-fold of baseline, which was 305 +/- 250 pg/ml). Prostaglandin E2 release outlasted the stimulation period for at least another 5 min. The data support the hypothesis of neurogenic inflammation being involved in headaches and provide new evidence for prostaglandin E2 possibly facilitating meningeal nociceptor excitation and, hence, pain.

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