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Valproate Attenuates Nitroglycerin-Induced Trigeminovascular Activation by Preserving Mitochondrial Function in a Rat Model of Migraine

Ruxian Li, Yushuang Liu, Nan Chen, Yitong Zhang, Ge Song, Zhongling Zhang

(Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:3229-3237

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.900185

BACKGROUND: Migraine is a chronic disease that interferes with life quality and work productivity. Valproate shows protective effects against migraine, yet the underlying mechanisms are unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the potential effect of valproate on migraine using a rat model of nitroglycerin-induced trigeminovascular activation, as well as to explore the underlying mechanism.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Intraperitoneal injection of nitroglycerin was conducted to induce trigeminovascular activation in rats. To explore the protective effect of valproate, a low dose (100 mg/kg) or a high dose (200 mg/kg) of valproate was intraperitoneally injected into rats, and then the levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine and nitric oxide in the peripheral blood were examined. The mtDNA copy number and the protein levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α, mitochondrial transcription factor A, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ in the spinal trigeminal nucleus were detected to evaluate the biogenesis of mitochondria. The mitochondrial energy metabolism was determined by the mitochondrial membrane potential and the levels of adenosine triphosphate, cytochrome C oxidase, and reactive oxygen species.
RESULTS: Valproate attenuated nitroglycerin-induced trigeminovascular activation in rats, with reduced scratching behavior and restored 5-hydroxytryptamine and nitric oxide levels. Moreover, the mitochondrial energy metabolism and the biogenesis of mitochondria were preserved by valproate in nitroglycerin-treated rats.
CONCLUSIONS: The protective effect of valproate against migraine may be achieved through the modulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and function. Our study provides evidence for the potential use of valproate in the treatment of migraine.

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