Polyamines serum levels in episodic and chronic migraine

Luana Lionetto, Martina Guglielmetti, Fabiola Cipolla, Simone Bernardini, Bianca Emanuela Koehler, Matilde Capi, Donatella De Bernardini, Martina Curto, Roberto Manetti, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Maurizio Simmaco, Paolo Martelletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies focused on food as the trigger of a migraine attack did not consider polyamines as possible activators and sensitizers of the trigeminal-vascular system through their interaction with NMDA glutamate receptors. Therefore, this study aimed to assess serum levels of nine polyamines and to evaluate their role as possible triggers and crisis maintainers in episodic and chronic migraine patients. Materials and methods: The study included 50 patients with episodic migraine (EM), 50 patients with chronic migraine (CM) and 50 healthy controls (HC). Serum levels of nine polyamines have been determined by Liquid Chromatography tandem Mass Spectrometry. Specifically, agmatine, spermidine, spermine, putrescine, cadaverine, arginine, ornithine, citrulline and lysine levels were studied. Results: Agmatine serum levels resulted reduced in EC patients with respect to CM and HC. Compared to HC subjects, serum levels of spermine and spermidine were statistically significantly increased both in CM and EM patients. Conclusions: The authors suggest that alterations of polyamines levels might contribute to the understanding of migraine external activation and help to clarify the potential role of NMDA receptor polyamines site antagonists in migraine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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