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Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2019 Apr 9;12(2). pii: E54. doi: 10.3390/ph12020054.

TRP Channels and Migraine: Recent Developments and New Therapeutic Opportunities.

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Headache Centre, Careggi University Hospital, Viale Pieraccini 18, 50139 Florence, Italy.
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Center for Advanced Pain Studies, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75080, USA.


Migraine is the second-most disabling disease worldwide, and the second most common neurological disorder. Attacks can last many hours or days, and consist of multiple symptoms including headache, nausea, vomiting, hypersensitivity to stimuli such as light and sound, and in some cases, an aura is present. Mechanisms contributing to migraine are still poorly understood. However, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels have been repeatedly linked to the disorder, including TRPV1, TRPV4, TRPM8, and TRPA1, based on their activation by pathological stimuli related to attacks, or their modulation by drugs/natural products known to be efficacious for migraine. This review will provide a brief overview of migraine, including current therapeutics and the link to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neuropeptide strongly implicated in migraine pathophysiology. Discussion will then focus on recent developments in preclinical and clinical studies that implicate TRP channels in migraine pathophysiology or in the efficacy of therapeutics. Given the use of onabotulinum toxin A (BoNTA) to treat chronic migraine, and its poorly understood mechanism, this review will also cover possible contributions of TRP channels to BoNTA efficacy. Discussion will conclude with remaining questions that require future work to more fully evaluate TRP channels as novel therapeutic targets for migraine.


CGRP; TRP; botulinum toxin A; cortical spreading depression; dura mater; ion channel; meninges; neurogenic inflammation; reactive nitrogen species; reactive oxygen species

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