Characterization of a rat model of chronic headache

2011 2011

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Abstract (summary)

Migraine, a debilitating headache disorder, affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 15 men. The diagnostic criteria for migraine include at least 5 migraine attacks and unilateral throbbing pain accompanied by phonophobia and sensitivity of the face to innocuous stimuli or facial allodynia. If migraine frequency increases to 15 or more attacks per month, the headache is classified as chronic migraine. The transition from episodic migraine to chronic migraine involves a clinical transformation – reversible increase in headache frequency, a physiological transformation – development of allodynia and sensitization and an anatomical transformation – development of anatomical abnormalities such as white matter lesions. Many animal models of migraine utilize a single inflammatory manipulation to illustrate pain pathways and model migraine symptoms such as allodynia. However, a major limitation to these models is that migraine is not an acute phenomenon. Our laboratory uses repeated inflammatory stimulation of the dura to model migraine. Following repeated nociceptor activation, rats demonstrate facial (periorbital) allodynia and phonophobia. The goal of this thesis is to characterize this animal model in the context of three transformations described in the evolution from episodic to chronic migraine. The physiological transformation is highlighted in chapters 2 and 3 and demonstrated by exacerbation of allodynia in response to the migraine trigger ethanol. Chapters 4 and 5 displayed blood brain barrier breakdown in rats following repeated inflammatory stimulation, fitting the anatomical transformation. The clinical transformation was modeled through prevention of allodynia and the sensitization process with minocycline, a tetracycline-derived antibiotic. This thesis provides evidence that our model is relevant to chronic migraine transformation in humans. In addition, we show that ethanol induced headache-like allodynia is mediated by adenosine and correlated with changes in extracellular GABA and glutamate in our model. We also demonstrate that blood brain barrier damage in our model of migraine may be correlated with astrocyte activation. These findings significantly impact the fields of headache research and alcohol addiction and suggest targets for clinical studies. Future directions include investigations of ethanol sensitivity and blood brain barrier abnormalities in chronic migraine patients.

Indexing (details)

0317: Neurosciences
Identifier / keyword
Biological sciences; Allodynia; Blood brain barrier abnormalities; Chronic headache; Ethanol sensitivity; Migraine; Phenomenon
Characterization of a rat model of chronic headache
Maxwell, Christina R.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Oshinsky, Michael L.
Committee member
Hoek, Jan B.; OLeary, Michael; Sterling, Robert
Thomas Jefferson University
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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