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Cephalalgia. 2014 Oct;34(11):853-69. doi: 10.1177/0333102414527648. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

Selective inhibition of meningeal nociceptors by botulinum neurotoxin type A: therapeutic implications for migraine and other pains.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Allergan Inc., Irvine, CA, USA.
3
Allergan Inc., Irvine, CA, USA University of California, Irvine, CA, USA Brin_Mitchell@Allergan.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Meningeal and other trigeminal nociceptors are thought to play important roles in the initiation of migraine headache. Currently, the only approved peripherally administered chronic migraine prophylactic drug is onabotulinumtoxinA. The purpose of this study was to determine how botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) affects naïve and sensitized meningeal nociceptors.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Using electrophysiological techniques, we identified 43 C- and 36 Aδ-meningeal nociceptors, and measured their spontaneous and evoked firing before and after BoNT-A administration to intracranial dura and extracranial suture-receptive fields.

RESULTS:

As a rule, BoNT-A inhibited C- but not Aδ-meningeal nociceptors. When applied to nonsensitized C-units, BoNT-A inhibited responses to mechanical stimulation of the dura with suprathreshold forces. When applied to sensitized units, BoNT-A reversed mechanical hypersensitivity. When applied before sensitization, BoNT-A prevented development of mechanical hypersensitivity. When applied extracranially to suture branches of intracranial meningeal nociceptors, BoNT-A inhibited the mechanical responsiveness of the suture branch but not dural axon. In contrast, BoNT-A did not inhibit C-unit responses to mechanical stimulation of the dura with threshold forces, or their spontaneous activity.

DISCUSSION:

The study provides evidence for the ability of BoNT-A to inhibit mechanical nociception in peripheral trigeminovascular neurons. These findings suggest that BoNT-A interferes with neuronal surface expression of high-threshold mechanosensitive ion channels linked preferentially to mechanical pain by preventing their fusion into the nerve terminal membrane.

KEYWORDS:

Pain; TRPA1; TRPV1; headache; high-threshold mechanosensitive ion channels; nociception

Comment in

PMID:
24694964
PMCID:
PMC4167963
DOI:
10.1177/0333102414527648
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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