On trigeminal ganglion neurons, pain-sensing P2X3 receptors are constitutively inhibited by brain natriuretic peptide via its natriuretic peptide receptor-A. This inhibition is associated with increased P2X3 serine phosphorylation and receptor redistribution to non-lipid raft membrane compartments. The natriuretic peptide receptor-A antagonist anantin reverses these effects. We studied whether P2X3 inhibition is dysfunctional in a genetic familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 model produced by introduction of the human pathogenic R192Q missense mutation into the mouse CACNA1A gene (knock-in phenotype). This model faithfully replicates several properties of familial hemiplegic migraine type-1, with gain-of-function of CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels, raised levels of the algogenic peptide calcitonin gene-related peptide, and enhanced activity of P2X3 receptors in trigeminal ganglia.
In knock-in neurons, anantin did not affect P2X3 receptor activity, membrane distribution, or serine phosphorylation level, implying ineffective inhibition by the constitutive brain natriuretic peptide/natriuretic peptide receptor-A pathway. However, expression and functional properties of this pathway remained intact together with its ability to downregulate TRPV1 channels. Reversing the familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 phenotype with the CaV2.1-specific antagonist, ω-agatoxin IVA restored P2X3 activity to wild-type level and enabled the potentiating effects of anantin again. After blocking calcitonin gene-related peptide receptors, P2X3 receptors exhibited wild-type properties and were again potentiated by anantin.
P2X3 receptors on mouse trigeminal ganglion neurons are subjected to contrasting modulation by inhibitory brain natriuretic peptide and facilitatory calcitonin gene-related peptide that both operate via complex intracellular signaling. In the familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 migraine model, the action of calcitonin gene-related peptide appears to prevail over brain natriuretic peptide, thus suggesting that peripheral inhibition of P2X3 receptors becomes insufficient and contributes to trigeminal pain sensitization.