Authors: Andrew F. Russo
Source: Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Volume 55, Jan. 2015, Russo, pp 533-552
Migraine is a neurological disorder that manifests as a debilitating headache associated with altered sensory perception. The neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is now firmly established as a key player in migraine. Clinical trials carried out during the past decade have proved that CGRP receptor antagonists are effective for treating migraine, and antibodies to the receptor and CGRP are currently under investigation. Despite this progress in the clinical arena, the mechanisms by which CGRP triggers migraine remain uncertain. This review discusses mechanisms whereby CGRP enhances sensitivity to sensory input at multiple levels in both the periphery and central nervous system. Future studies on epistatic and epigenetic regulators of CGRP actions are expected to shed further light on CGRP actions in migraine. In conclusion, targeting CGRP represents an approachable therapeutic strategy for migraine.