Individuals with migraine have altered vascular tone, especially vasodilation in response to nitric oxide.
Vascular smooth muscle cell dysfunction in patients with migraine.
Summary of the abstract
BACKGROUND: Migraine is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but the mechanisms are unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the activity of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in patients with migraine.
RESULTS: In patients with migraine, the vasodilating effect of acetylcholine (ACh), an endothelium-dependent vasodilator, was markedly reduced. In response to the highest dose of ACh, forearm blood flow (FBF) rose to 8.6 in patients with migraine and to 22.7 . in controls.
The dose-response curve to nitroprusside, a vasodilator directly acting on VSMCs, was depressed in patients with migraine. The maximal response of FBF to nitroprusside was 12.1 in patients with migraine and 24.1 in controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with migraine are characterized by a distinct vascular smooth muscle cell dysfunction, revealed by impaired response to nitric oxide.