The big CGRP flood - sources, sinks and signalling sites in the trigeminovascular system

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Meßlinger K
Journal: Journal of Headache and Pain
Publication year: 2018
Volume: 19
Journal issue: 1
Pages range: 22
ISSN: 1129-2369
eISSN: 1129-2377


BACKGROUND: Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) has long been a focus of migraine research, since it turned out that inhibition of CGRP or CGRP receptors by antagonists or monoclonal IgG antibodies was therapeutic in frequent and chronic migraine. This contribution deals with the questions, from which sites CGRP is released, where it is drained and where it acts to cause its headache proliferating effects in the trigeminovascular system.
RESULTS: The available literature suggests that the bulk of CGRP is released from trigeminal afferents both in meningeal tissues and at the first synapse in the spinal trigeminal nucleus. CGRP may be drained off into three different compartments, the venous blood plasma, the cerebrospinal fluid and possibly the glymphatic system. CGRP receptors in peripheral tissues are located on arterial vessel walls, mononuclear immune cells and possibly Schwann cells; within the trigeminal ganglion they are located on neurons and glial cells; in the spinal trigeminal nucleus they can be found on central terminals of trigeminal afferents. All these structures are potential signalling sites for CGRP, where CGRP mediates arterial vasodilatation but not direct activation of trigeminal afferents. In the spinal trigeminal nucleus a facilitating effect on synaptic transmission seems likely. In the trigeminal ganglion CGRP is thought to initiate long-term changes including cross-signalling between neurons and glial cells based on gene expression. In this way, CGRP may upregulate the production of receptor proteins and pro-nociceptive molecules.
CONCLUSIONS: CGRP and other big molecules cannot easily pass the blood-brain barrier. These molecules may act in the trigeminal ganglion to influence the production of pronociceptive substances and receptors, which are transported along the central terminals into the spinal trigeminal nucleus. In this way peripherally acting therapeutics can have a central antinociceptive effect.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Meßlinger, Karl Prof. Dr.
Professur für Physiologie

How to cite

Meßlinger, K. (2018). The big CGRP flood - sources, sinks and signalling sites in the trigeminovascular system. Journal of Headache and Pain, 19(1), 22.

Meßlinger, Karl. "The big CGRP flood - sources, sinks and signalling sites in the trigeminovascular system." Journal of Headache and Pain 19.1 (2018): 22.


Last updated on 2019-25-02 at 09:23