Dural mast cell degranulation is a putative mechanism for headache induced by PACAP-38

Michael Baun, Martin Holst Friborg Pedersen, Jes Olesen, Inger Jansen-Olesen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    BACKGROUND: Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide-38 (PACAP-38) has been shown to induce migraine in migraineurs, whereas the related peptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) does not. In the present study we examine the hypothesis that PACAP-38 and its truncated version PACAP-27 but not VIP cause degranulation of mast cells in peritoneum and in dura mater. METHODS: The degranulatory effects of PACAP-38, PACAP-27 and VIP were investigated by measuring the amount of N-acetyl-β-hexosaminidase released from isolated peritoneal mast cells and from dura mater attached to the skull of the rat in vitro. In peritoneal mast cells N-truncated fragments of PACAP-38 (PACAP(6–38), PACAP(16–38) and PACAP(28–38)) were also studied. To investigate transduction pathways involved in mast cell degranulation induced by PACAP-38, PACAP-27 and VIP, the phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 and the adenylate cyclase inhibitor SQ 22536 were used. RESULTS: The peptides induced degranulation of isolated peritoneal mast cells of the rat with the following order of potency: PACAP-38 = PACAP(6–38) = PACAP(16–38) » PACAP-27 = VIP = PACAP(28–38). In the dura mater we found that 10–5 M PACAP-38 was significantly more potent in inducing mast cell degranulation than the same concentration of PACAP-27 or VIP. Inhibition of intracellular mechanisms demonstrated that PACAP-38-induced degranulation is mediated by the phospholipase C pathway. Selective blockade of the PAC1 receptor did not attenuate degranulation. CONCLUSION: These findings correlate with clinical studies and support the hypothesis that mast cell degranulation is involved in PACAP-induced migraine. PACAP-38 has a much stronger degranulatory effect on rat peritoneal and dural mast cells than VIP and PACAP-27. The difference in potency between PACAP-38- and PACAP-27/VIP-induced peritoneal mast cell degranulation is probably not related to the PAC1 receptor but is caused by a difference in efficacy on phospholipase C.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)337-345
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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