A migraine-related protein only affects females in the mouse

Etxebeste Aduriz, Egoitz

Elhuyar Zientzia

Ed. Branch / CC-BY-SA

A migraine-related protein harms females, but not males, according to a study at the University of Texas. This can help understand why women suffer three times more migraines than men. The study has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The influence of CGRP protein on migraine has been known for about 30 years. But practically all the studies that have been carried out so far have been done with male animals, and it is the first time that the influence of this protein varies according to sex. In addition, this study has confirmed that this protein produces pain in the meninges (tissues that cover and protect the brain).

It is not clear where the CGRP protein acts. The CGRP protein is formed in both the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral (everything else, including meninges), but it cannot be passed from one side to the other because it is too large. Researchers have introduced mice to the CGRP protein and have seen that females produce headaches rather than males. Thus, although women recognize that the cause of increased migraine is more complex, they have concluded that being more sensitive to CGRP protein may be related.

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