Within the trigeminal ganglion, crosstalk between neurons and satellite glial cells (SGCs) contributes to neuronal sensitization and transduction of painful stimuli, including migraine pain, at least partly through activation of purinergic receptor mechanisms. We previously showed that the algogenic mediator bradykinin (BK) potentiates purinergic P2Y receptors on SGCs in primary trigeminal cultures. Our present study investigated the molecular basis of this effect in wild-type (WT) mice and CaV2.1 α1 R192Q mutant knock-in (KI) mice expressing a human mutation causing familial hemiplegic migraine type 1. Single-cell calcium imaging of WT cultures revealed functional BK receptors in neurons only, suggesting a paracrine action by BK to release a soluble mediator responsible for its effects on SGCs. We identified this mediator as the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), whose levels were markedly increased by BK, while the CGRP antagonist CGRP 8-37 and the anti-migraine drug sumatriptan inhibited BK actions. Unlike CGRP, BK was ineffective in neuron-free SGC cultures, confirming the CGRP neuronal source. P2Y receptor potentiation induced by CGRP in SGCs was mediated via activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathways, and after exposure to CGRP, a significant release of several cytokines was detected. Interestingly, both basal and BK-stimulated CGRP release was higher in KI mouse cultures, where BK significantly upregulated the number of SGCs showing functional UTP-sensitive P2Y receptors. Our findings suggest that P2Y receptors on glial cells might be considered as novel players in the cellular processes underlying migraine pathophysiology and might represent new targets for the development of innovative therapeutic agents against migraine pain.
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