Neuroendocrine response to the serotonin agonist m-chlorophenylpiperazine in women with menstrual status migrainosus

Rossella E. Nappi, Grazia Sances, Benedetta Brundu, Natascia Ghiotto, Silvia Detaddei, Caterina Biancardi, Franco Polatti, Giuseppe Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To assess the neuroendocrine correlates of menstrual status migrainosus (MSM) and menstrual migraine (MM), we evaluated the prolactin (PRL) and cortisol responses to the direct central serotoninergic (5-HT) agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP) administered orally (0.5 mg/kg) during the follicular (FP: +6, +8) and luteal phases (LP: -4, -6) of the same menstrual cycle. Ten women with MSM (migraine attacks occurring within 2 days of the onset of menstrual bleeding but lasting more than 72 h) and 9 women with MM (migraine occurring within 2 days of the onset of menstrual bleeding with a typical duration of attacks) were studied. Six healthy women served as controls. Blood samples were taken at times -30, 0 and every 30 min over 4 h. Statistical analysis was performed using MANOVA followed by Duncan's post hoc comparisons. We found that the PRL response to the m-CPP test was significantly blunted in MSM compared with MM and controls in both phases of the menstrual cycle (F = 4.6; p <0.001). Indeed, the PRL area under the curve (AUC) after m-CPP was higher in both MM and controls compared with MSM (F = 12.7; p <0.001). The m-CPP-induced cortisol response was absent in MSM compared with MM and controls in both FP and LP (F = 4.1; p <0.001). On the other hand, the pattern of the plasma cortisol response to m-CPP was similar in MM and controls throughout the menstrual cycle. In addition, the basal plasma cortisol levels were significantly higher in MSM compared with controls (p <0.001) and MM (p <0.001) during FP, but not in LP, and progressively decreased over time. Thus, no significant effect of the menstrual cycle phase and diagnosis on the cortisol AUC was found, while a significant diagnosis effect (F = 25.6; p <0.001) on %Δmax plasma cortisol levels was evident and consistent with the lack of cortisol response to m-CPP in MSM during the FP and LP compared with MM and controls. A derangement in central 5-HT control of pituitary PRL, and even more so in cortisol release, is present in women with MSM, but not with MM, regardless of the phase of the menstrual cycle, suggesting the involvement of some 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptor subtypes in the occurrence of extremely severe migraine attacks triggered by menstruation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroendocrinology
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Adrenal steroids
  • Clinical neuroendocrinology
  • m-Chlorophenylpiperazine
  • Menstrual migraine
  • Prolactin
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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