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Headache. 2006 Apr;46(4):592-6.

Plasma 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in migraine during an attack-free period.

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Department of Neurology, Saitama City Hospital, Saitama, Japan.



We measured the plasma 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), and tryptophan levels in controls, migraine patients with aura (MWA), and migraine patients without aura (MWoA) during an attack-free period.


Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine. The precise relationship between 5-HT and migraine, however, remains unclear.


Blood samples in controls, MWA, and MWoA patients during an attack-free period were collected from brachial arteries and analyzed using HPLC.


The plasma tryptophan and 5-HTP levels were not significantly different between the controls and migraine patients (either MWA or MWoA). However, the plasma 5-HT level in the MWA patients was significantly lower than that in the controls and MWoA patients.


The present data suggest that reduced levels of 5-HT in MWA may result from either a dysfunction in the enzymes involved in serotonin biosynthesis or a dysfunction in 5-HT release or uptake from platelets and lymphocytes. These findings indicate the existence of a serotonin metabolism dysfunction in MWA patients that may differ from the state of serotonin metabolism in MWoA patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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