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Adenosine and Migraine

R. Guieu, C. Devaux, H. Henry, G. Bechis, J. Pouget, D. Mallet, F. Sampieri, M. Juin, R. Gola and H. Rochat

Abstract: Background: Adenosine is a powerful natural vasodilator that participates in the control of cerebral and meningeal blood flow. In this context, it could be involved in the pathophysiology of migraine, since it was previously reported that intravenous adenosine can precipitate crises in migraine patients. Methods: We have investigated circulating adenosine levels in 12 patients suffering from migraine without aura, during crises and in crisis-free periods, and have compared the levels noted to those of a population of 10 controls. To determine if there are interactions between adenosine and serotonin, we examined the effect of adenosine and antagonists on the uptake and the release of (14C) serotonin by platelets. Results and conclusion:We have reached a dual conclusion: 1) during migraine headaches there is an increase (mean 68%) in circulating adenosine levels and this increase may participate in cephalalgia; 2) activation of A2 receptors by adenosine causes a dose-dependent inhibition of calcium-dependent serotonin uptake by platelets. This inhibition of uptake could participate in the rapid elimination of serotonin in migraine sufferers. As a result of this, the use of adenosine antagonists could be an effective complementary treatment for migraine.


Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1998: 25:55-58


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