Immunological Aspects in Migraine: Increase of IL-10 Plasma Levels During Attack


Address correspondence to Dr. Irene Munno, MIDIM, Sez. Immunologia, Piazza G. Cesare, Policlinico, 70124 Bari, Italy.


In the present study, 23 patients with migraine without aura were monitored during a migraine attack. Plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-10, and interferon-γ were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques. Interestingly, we observed low to undetectable IL-5 and IL-4 levels, whereas high IL-10 levels were seen in 52.2% of the patients. Interferon-γ plasma levels were undetectable in all patients. After treatment with sumatriptan, 10 patients showed a subsequent decrease in IL-10 and an increase in both IL-4 and IL-5 plasma levels. Although these findings are derived from a limited number of patients, the apparent return to the IL-4 and IL-5 cytokine profile observed during the interictal period leads us to speculate that a preferential enhancement of TH2-type cytokine production may contribute to the pathogenesis of migraine.