Inhibition of NR2A reduces calcitonin gene-related peptide gene expression induced by cortical spreading depression in rat amygdala

Fan Bu, Mingming Yuan, Dongqing Ma, Ying Zhu, Minyan Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Despite robust evidence on the role of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in migraine via both central and peripheral actions, relatively less is known about how CGRP in the limbic system is involved in migraine progression. This study investigated whether CGRP production machinery exists in the two key limbic regions including hippocampus and amygdala using cortical spreading depression (CSD) as a model of migraine and whether such alteration by CSD is sensitive to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor regulation in rats. A single or repetitive CSD was induced by topical application of KCl and monitored using electrophysiological methods. The NR2A-containing NMDA receptor antagonist, NVP-AAM077, or its vehicle, was perfused into the contralateral cerebroventricular ventricle of rat. Quantitative PCR was used to measure CGRP mRNA levels in the ipsilateral and contralateral hippocampus and amygdala after CSD events and compared to respective sham treatments. The results showed that neither a single CSD nor repetitive CSD affected CGRP mRNA levels in both the contralateral and ipsilateral hippocampus at 24 h post CSD induction. Differently, significant elevation of CGRP gene expression was observed in the ipsilateral amygdala at 24 h post multiple CSD, but not contralateral side, and not post-single CSD. Further results showed that the CSD-induced CGRP gene expression in the amygdala was markedly reduced by NVP-AAM077 and this reduction corresponded to a reduced cortical susceptibility to CSD in rats. We conclude that repetitive CSD events induce CGRP gene expression in amygdala, which is sensitive to NR2A regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102097
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Amygdala
  • Calcitonin gene-related peptide
  • Cortical spreading depression
  • Hippocampus
  • Migraine
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor

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