CGRP-dependent and independent mechanisms of acute and persistent post-traumatic headache following mild traumatic brain injury in mice

Edita Navratilova, Jill Rau, Janice Oyarzo, Jason Tien, Kimberly Mackenzie, Jennifer Stratton, Bethany Remeniuk, Todd Schwedt, Trent Anderson, David Dodick, Frank Porreca

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Abstract

Background: Acute and persistent post-traumatic headache are often debilitating consequences of traumatic brain injury. Underlying physiological mechanisms of post-traumatic headache and its persistence remain unknown, and there are currently no approved therapies for these conditions. Post-traumatic headache often presents with a migraine-like phenotype. As calcitonin-gene related peptide promotes migraine headache, we explored the efficacy and timing of intervention with an anti- calcitonin-gene related peptide monoclonal antibody in novel preclinical models of acute post-traumatic headache and persistent post-traumatic headache following a mild traumatic brain injury event in mice. Methods: Male, C57Bl/6 J mice received a sham procedure or mild traumatic brain injury resulting from a weight drop that allowed free head rotation while under minimal anesthesia. Periorbital and hindpaw tactile stimulation were used to assess mild traumatic brain injury-induced cutaneous allodynia. Two weeks after the injury, mice were challenged with stress, a common aggravator of migraine and post-traumatic headache, by exposure to bright lights (i.e. bright light stress) and cutaneous allodynia was measured hourly for 5 hours. A murine anti- calcitonin-gene related peptide monoclonal antibody was administered after mild traumatic brain injury at different time points to allow evaluation of the consequences of either early and sustained calcitonin-gene related peptide sequestration or late administration only prior to bright light stress. Results: Mice with mild traumatic brain injury, but not a sham procedure, exhibited both periorbital and hindpaw cutaneous allodynia that resolved by post-injury day 13. Following resolution of injury-induced cutaneous allodynia, exposure to bright light stress re-instated periorbital and hindpaw cutaneous allodynia in injured, but not sham mice. Repeated administration of anti-calcitonin-gene related peptide monoclonal antibody at 2 hours, 7 and 14 days post mild traumatic brain injury significantly attenuated the expression of cutaneous allodynia when evaluated over the 14-day post injury time course and also prevented bright light stress-induced cutaneous allodynia in injured mice. Administration of anti-calcitonin-gene related peptide monoclonal antibody only at 2 hours and 7 days after mild traumatic brain injury blocked injury-induced cutaneous allodynia and partially prevented bright light stress-induced cutaneous allodynia. A single administration of anti-calcitonin-gene related peptide monoclonal antibody after the resolution of the peak injury-induced cutaneous allodynia, but prior to bright light stress challenge, did not prevent bright light stress-induced cutaneous allodynia. Conclusions: We used a clinically relevant mild traumatic brain injury event in mice along with a provocative stimulus as novel models of acute post-traumatic headache and persistent post-traumatic headache. Following mild traumatic brain injury, mice demonstrated transient periorbital and hindpaw cutaneous allodynia suggestive of post-traumatic headache-related pain and establishment of central sensitization. Following resolution of injury-induced cutaneous allodynia, exposure to bright light stress re-established cutaneous allodynia, suggestive of persistent post-traumatic headache-related pain. Continuous early sequestration of calcitonin-gene related peptide prevented both acute post-traumatic headache and persistent post-traumatic headache. In contrast, delayed anti-calcitonin-gene related peptide monoclonal antibody treatment following establishment of central sensitization was ineffective in preventing persistent post-traumatic headache. These observations suggest that mechanisms involving calcitonin-gene related peptide underlie the expression of acute post-traumatic headache, and drive the development of central sensitization, increasing vulnerability to headache triggers and promoting persistent post-traumatic headache. Early and continuous calcitonin-gene related peptide blockade following mild traumatic brain injury may represent a viable treatment option for post-traumatic headache and for the prevention of post-traumatic headache persistence. Abbreviations: CACutaneous allodynia CGRP Calcitonin gene-related peptide mTBI Mild traumatic brain injury PTH Post-traumatic headache APTH Acute post-traumatic headache PPTH Persistent post-traumatic headache.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCephalalgia
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • acute post-traumatic headache (APTH)
  • CGRP
  • CGRP monoclonal antibody
  • concussion
  • cutaneous allodynia
  • mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)
  • persistent post-traumatic headache (PPTH)
  • Post-traumatic headache (PTH)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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