Non-NMDA glutamate receptors modulate capsaicin induced c-fos expression within trigeminal nucleus caudalis

Dimos D. Mitsikostas, Margarita Sanchez Del Rio, Christian Wacber, Zhihong Huang, F. Michael Cutrer, Michael A. Moskowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


1. We examined the effects of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptor antagonists 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-nitro-2,3-dioxo-benzol[f]quinoxaline-7-sulphonamide (NBQX), the kainate receptor antagonists γ-(R-)-glutamylaminomethanesulphonic acid (GAMS) and 6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5-nitro-1H-benz[g]indole-2,3-dione-3-oxime (NS-102), and the group III metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist 2-amino-4-phosphono-S-butanoic acid (L-AP4) on c-fos-like immunoreactivity (c-fos LI) in trigeminal caudalis (Sp5C), lateral reticular (LRt), medullary reticular (Md) and solitary tract (Sol) nuclei, after intracisternal injection of capsaicin in urethane anaesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats. 2. Few c-fos labelled cells were observed within Sp5C in capsaicin-vehicle treated animals. The number of positive c-fos cells increased by 17 fold after intracisternal capsaicin (5 nmol) administration. 3. Pretreatment with CNQX (0.02, 0.1, 0.6, 3 and 15 mg kg-1 or NBQX (0.01, 0.1 and 1 mg kg-1), administered intraperitoneally 15 min before capsaicin, significantly reduced labelled cells within Sp5C by a maximum of 45 and 34%, respectively. The number of c-fos LI cells within LRt, Md and Sol was not affected. Pretreatment with L-AP4 (1, 3 and 10 mg kg-1) decreased the number of Sp5C c-fos LI cells by a maximum of 30%, whereas GAMS (1 and 10 mg kg-1) and NS-102 (1 and 5 mg kg-1) did not show any significant effect. 4. These results suggest that blockade of AMPA receptors, but not kainate receptors, or the activation of group III mGluRs, decrease the response of Sp5C neurons to trigeminovascular activation. Thus, in addition to NMDA receptors, mGluRs and AMPA receptors may modulate cephalic pain and may provide a potential therapeutic target for antimigraine drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-630
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • AMPA/kainate receptors
  • Headache
  • Meninges
  • Metabotropic glutamate receptors
  • Migraine
  • Pain
  • Trigeminal system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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