Voltage-gated Calcium Channels in Migraine Pathophysiology.

Migraine is one of the most common neurovascular disorders and an enormous burden to the healthcare system. The disease mechanisms may involve abnormal ion homeostasis and neurotransmission. We propose to study the contribution of multiple voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) to the excitability of primary sensory neurons in the neuronal circuit underlying migraine headache. We will also directly test the translational implications of various approaches to attenuating headache-like behavior through modulation of VGCC activities.

Regulation of Trigeminal Nociception by TRESK Channels.

Our preliminary study indicates that, despite the ubiquitous expression of TRESK K+ channel in all primary afferent neurons, de novo loss of TRESK selectively increases the excitability of trigeminal nociceptors, thereby enhancing trigeminal pain but not body pain in mice. In this application we aim to understand the mechanisms through which TRESK channels differentially regulate the transmission of trigeminal and body pain. We propose to test the hypothesis that migraine triggers and frequent attacks increase migraine susceptibility and facilitate migraine chronification through reducing TRESK activity in dural afferent neurons.

Validating Peripheral CCL2 and CCR2 as Novel Targets for Chronic Migraine Therapy.

We hypothesize that persistent activation of the endogenous CCL2-CCR2 signaling results in long-lasting sensitization of dura afferent neurons, thereby contributing to the generation of headache and to migraine chronification. We propose to conduct preclinical study to thoroughly validate the peripheral CCL2 and CCR2 as molecular targets for novel chronic migraine therapeutics.