ABSTRACT: Migraine affects ∼15% of the world's population greatly diminishing their quality of life. Current preventative treatments are effective in only a subset of migraine patients, and although cannabinoids seem beneficial in alleviating migraine symptoms, central nervous system side effects limit their widespread use. We developed peripherally restricted cannabinoids (PRCBs) that relieve chronic pain symptoms of cancer and neuropathies, without appreciable central nervous system side effects or tolerance development. Here, we determined PRCB effectiveness in alleviating hypersensitivity symptoms in mouse models of migraine and medication overuse headache. Long-term glyceryl trinitrate (GTN, 10 mg/kg) administration led to increased sensitivity to mechanical stimuli and increased expression of phosphorylated protein kinase A, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 proteins in trigeminal ganglia. Peripherally restricted cannabinoid pretreatment, but not posttreatment, prevented behavioral and biochemical correlates of GTN-induced sensitization. Low pH-activated and allyl isothiocyanate-activated currents in acutely isolated trigeminal neurons were reversibly attenuated by PRCB application. Long-term GTN treatment significantly enhanced these currents. Long-term sumatriptan treatment also led to the development of allodynia to mechanical and cold stimuli that was slowly reversible after sumatriptan discontinuation. Subsequent challenge with a previously ineffective low-dose GTN (0.1-0.3 mg/kg) revealed latent behavioral sensitization and increased expression of phosphorylated protein kinase A, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 proteins in trigeminal ganglia. Peripherally restricted cannabinoid pretreatment prevented all behavioral and biochemical correlates of allodynia and latent sensitization. Importantly, long-term PRCB treatment alone did not produce any behavioral or biochemical signs of sensitization. These data validate peripheral cannabinoid receptors as potential therapeutic targets in migraine and medication overuse headache.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine