Anatomy and immunochemical characterization of the non-arterial peptidergic diffuse dural innervation of the rat and Rhesus monkey: Implications for functional regulation and treatment in migraine

Frank L. Rice, Jennifer Y. Xie, Phillip J. Albrecht, Emily Acker, Justin Bourgeois, Edita Navratilova, David W. Dodick, Frank Porreca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The interplay between neuronal innervation and other cell types underlies the physiological functions of the dura mater and contributes to pathophysiological conditions such as migraine. We characterized the extensive, but understudied, non-arterial diffuse dural innervation (DDI) of the rat and Rhesus monkey. Methods: We used a comprehensive integrated multi-molecular immunofluorescence labeling strategy to extensively profile the rat DDI and to a lesser extent that of the Rhesus monkey. Results: The DDI was distributed across a dense, pervasive capillary network and included free nerve endings of peptidergic CGRP-expressing C fibers that were closely intertwined with noradrenergic (NA) sympathetic fibers and thin-caliber nonpeptidergic “C/Aδ” fibers. These newly identified C/Aδ fibers were unmyelinated, like C fibers, but expressed NF200, usually indicative of Aδ fibers, and uniquely co-labeled for the CGRP co-receptor, RAMP1. Slightly-larger caliber NF200-positive fibers co-labeled for myelin basic protein (MBP) and terminated as unbranched corpuscular endings. The DDI peptidergic fibers co-labeled for the lectin IB4 and expressed presumably excitatory α1-adrenergic receptors, as well as inhibitory 5HT1D receptors and the delta opioid receptor (δOR), but rarely the mu opioid receptor (µOR). Labeling for P2X3, TRPV1, TRPA1, and parasympathetic markers was not observed in the DDI. Interpretation: These results suggest potential functional interactions, wherein peptidergic DDI fibers may be activated by stress-related sympathetic activity, resulting in CGRP release that could be detected in the circulation. CGRP may also activate nonpeptidergic C/Aδ fibers that are likely mechanosensitive or polymodal, leading to activation of post-synaptic pain transmission circuits. The distribution of α1-adrenergic receptors, RAMP1, and the unique expression of the δOR on CGRP-expressing DDI fibers suggest strategies for functional modulation and application to therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1350-1372
Number of pages23
JournalCephalalgia
Volume37
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Keywords

  • dura mater
  • Headache
  • sensory fibers
  • sympathetic fibers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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