Chapter

A possible role of endothelial vasorelaxants in the pathogenesis of migraine

Ryszard J. Gryglewski and John R. Vane

in Migraine: A Spectrum of Ideas

Published in print March 1990 | ISBN: 9780192618108
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724305 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192618108.003.0005
A possible role of endothelial vasorelaxants in the pathogenesis of migraine

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There have been many attempts to explain the pathophysiological mechanism of migraine — for example, the platelet theory, the biogenic amine theory, or the vascular, vaso-neurogenic, and neural theories. There is still general agreement that the migraine aura is associated with a regional vasoconstriction, whilst the headache phase is accompanied by a localized vasodilatation of the cranial arteries. It is also a generally held concept that 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) is somehow involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. This chapter hypothesizes that the vasodilator phase of migraine is mediated by two powerful vasorelaxants, which are generated by the endothelium, namely prostacyclin and the ‘endothelium-derived relaxing factor’ which has been identified as nitric oxide (NO).

Keywords: platelet theory; migraine; endothelial vasorelaxants; pathogenesis; neural theories; 5-hydroxytryptamine

Chapter.  3438 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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