A new preclinical study from University of Texas at Dallas researchers may help explain why migraine is three times more common in women than men.
In research published online April 8 in the Journal of Neuroscience, a protein implicated in the development of migraine symptoms caused pain responses in female rodents, but not in males, when introduced into the meninges, the protective tissue layers surrounding the brain.
Most previous preclinical investigations of migraine and the protein, called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), used only male animals, leaving the question of neurobiological sex differences unanswered, said Dr. Greg Dussor, the corresponding author of the study and an associate professor of neuroscience in the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
“This is the first study to show that CGRP might act differently between sexes,” said Dussor, Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor. “It also shows that CGRP can have a pain-related effect in the meninges, which is something that has been questioned in the literature previously.”