Nimodipine down-regulates CGRP expression in the rat trigeminal nucleus caudalis.
L-type calcium channel blockers like verapamil are used in the prophylaxis of migraine. However, their effect on the expression of CGRP in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) is unknown. It is important because an earlier study had shown that olcegepant, a CGRP receptor antagonist, acts at the level of the trigeminal spinal nucleus rather than the trigeminal ganglia. Nimodipine was used in the present study as it crosses the blood-brain barrier. The objective of the study was to determine the pattern of expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the TNC after administration of nimodipine and/or morphine. Wistar rats were injected with saline, morphine, nimodipine or morphine + nimodipine for 14 days. Subsequently, the lowest part of the medulla oblongata containing the spinal nucleus was removed and processed for immunohistochemical localization of CGRP. The density of expression was quantified using Image J software. The results were statistically analyzed. CGRP expression was noted over the superficial part of the TNC, which decreased significantly after nimodipine administration. Conversely, morphine produced an up-regulation. The expression was unchanged with reference to saline in the morphine + nimodipine treated group. Decreased expression of CGRP in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis after nimodipine is being reported for the first time. Also, whether CGRP expression can be used as a marker for predicting the therapeutic efficacy of an anti-migraine drug is currently being investigated.
Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi 110 029, India.
SourceIndian journal of experimental biology 50:5 2012 May pg 320-4
Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
Calcium Channels, L-Type
Gene Expression Regulation
Trigeminal Nucleus, Spinal
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't