Neurobiology of disease

Evidence for orexinergic mechanisms in migraine.

PMID 25447225


To examine the effect of the orexinergic blockade with a dual orexin receptor antagonist (DORA) on experimental models of peripheral and central trigeminal as well as cortical activation relevant to migraine and migraine aura. In this study we used a precursor of suvorexant, a dual orexin receptor antagonist #12 (DORA-12) in established experimental in vivo models of dural trigeminovascular nociception in rat. Neurogenic dural vasodilation and electrophysiological recordings of second order trigeminocervical neurons were used to study trigeminal nociceptive mechanisms directly. KCl-evoked cortical spreading depression was also used as a surrogate for migraine aura. Neurogenically-induced vasodilation of the middle meningeal artery, caused by nociceptive activation of peripheral afferent projections of the trigeminal nerve, was attenuated by intravenous DORA-12 (1 mgkg(-1)). Second-order trigeminocervical complex neuronal activity was significantly inhibited by intravenous DORA-12 (1 mgkg(-1)). DORA-12 significantly reduced susceptibility to KCl-evoked cortical spreading depression. The study provides the first direct evidence, that simultaneous antagonism on both orexin receptors is able to attenuate trigeminal nociceptive activity as well as to induce an elevation of the threshold for the induction of a cortical spreading depression (CSD). In the clinical context, these data imply that targeting the hypothalamic orexinergic system may offer an entirely novel mechanism for the preventive treatment of migraine with and without aura.