Over the last 100 years, the discovery of new analgesics has been a complex and difficult task. However, remarkable progress in the identification of novel molecular targets relevant for pain medicines has been reported. Here we will focus on the neuropeptide calcitonin generelated peptide (CGRP) and its receptors (CGRP-R) because of their role in migraine mechanism and migraine therapy. Recent preclinical and clinical data on the localisation, regulation and plasma levels of CGRP and on the function of CGRP-R will be summarised. The reviewed findings highlight the major function of CGRP in migraine and the use of CGRP-R antagonists as a novel approach for the treatment of migraine attack and, perhaps, as migraine prophylactic medicines.
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
- Neurogenic vasodilatation
- Receptor antagonist