Endocannabinoids in chronic migraine: CSF findings suggest a system failure

Paola Sarchielli, Luigi Alberto Pini, Francesca Coppola, Cristiana Rossi, Antonio Baldi, Maria Luisa Mancini, Paolo Calabresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on experimental evidence of the antinociceptive action of endocannabinoids and their role in the modulation of trigeminovascular system activation, we hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system may be dysfunctional in chronic migraine (CM). We examined whether the concentrations of N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA), palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the CSF of patients with CM and with probable CM and probable analgesic-overuse headache (PCM+PAOH) are altered compared with control subjects. The above endocannabinoids were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and quantified by isotope dilution gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) levels were also determined by RIA method and the end products of nitric oxide (NO), the nitrites, by HPLC. CSF concentrations of AEA were significantly lower and those of PEA slightly but significantly higher both in patients with CM and PCM + PAOH than in nonmigraineur controls (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1384-1390
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Analgesic overuse headache
  • Calcitonin gene-related peptide
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Chronic migraine
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Nitrites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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