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Nuclear factor-κB as a molecular target for migraine therapy

Authors

  • Uwe Reuter MD,

    1. Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation Laboratory, Radiology Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Alberto Chiarugi MD, PhD,

    1. Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation Laboratory, Radiology Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Hayrunnisa Bolay MD, PhD,

    1. Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation Laboratory, Radiology Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
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  • Michael A. Moskowitz MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation Laboratory, Radiology Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
    • Massachusetts General Hospital, 149 13th Street, Room 6403, Charlestown, MA 02129
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Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) generated from inducible NO synthase (iNOS) participates in immune and inflammatory responses in many tissues. The NO donor glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) provokes delayed migraine attacks when infused into migraineurs and also causes iNOS expression and delayed inflammation within rodent dura mater. Sodium nitroprusside, an NO donor as well, also increases iNOS expression. Because inflammation and iNOS are potential therapeutic targets, we examined transcriptional regulation of iNOS following GTN infusion and the consequences of its inhibition within dura mater. We show that intravenous GTN increases NO production within macrophages. L-N(6)-(1-iminoethyl)lysine, a selective iNOS inhibitor, attenuates the NO signal, emphasizing the importance of enzymatic activity to delayed NO production. iNOS expression is preceded by significant nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activity, as reflected by a reduction in the inhibitory protein-κ-Bα (IκBα) and activation of NF-κB after GTN infusion. IκBα degradation, NF-κB activation, and iNOS expression were attenuated by parthenolide (3mg/kg), the active constituent of feverfew, an anti-inflammatory drug used for migraine treatment. These findings suggest that GTN promotes NF-κB activity and inflammation with a time course consistent with migraine attacks in susceptible individuals. We conclude, based on results with this animal model, that blockade of NF-κB activity provides a novel transcriptional target for the development of anti-migraine drugs.

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