Is there a correlation between spreading depression, neurogenic inflammation, and nociception that might cause migraine headache?Ann Neurol 2001; 49(1):7-13AN
The time course of propagation of scotoma and blood flow changes during migraine aura parallels the phenomenon of cortical spreading depression (CSD). It was proposed that CSD generates a sterile neurogenic inflammation in the meninges, which may then lead to the activation or sensitization of nociceptors, thus generating headache. We performed rat experiments in which the effect of CSD on plasma extravasation in the dura mater and on neuronal activity in deep laminae of the trigeminal nucleus was assessed in vivo. CSD did not alter dural plasma extravasation measured by means of bovine serum albumin-coupled flourescein (n = 17 rats) compared to the CSD-free contralateral side. In an in vitro model, the application of KCl to the dura at concentrations extracellularly found during CSD did not alter the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide and prostaglandin E2 from the dura. In 33 rats, neither single CSDs nor a series of CSDs altered ongoing neuronal activity or mechanical and/or thermal sensitivity of the deeply located neurons to stimulation of their receptive fields in the dura mater. These results are at variance with data that showed increased c-Fos labeling in superficial laminae of the trigeminal nucleus following CSD. They do not suggest that CSD initiates migraine headache via neurogenic inflammation.