The serotonergic system in migraine

M. Leone, A. Rigamonti, D. D'Amico, L. Grazzi, S. Usai, G. Bussone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Serotonin (5-HT) and serotonin receptors play an important role in migraine pathophysiology. Changes in platelet 5-HT content are not casually related, but they may reflect similar changes at a neuronal level. Seven different classes of serotoninergic receptors are known, nevertheless only 5-HT2B-2C and 5HT1B-1D are related to migraine syndrome. Pharmacological evidences suggest that migraine is due to an hypersensitivity of 5-HT2B-2C receptors. m-Chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP), a 5-HT2B-2C agonist, may induce migraine attacks. Moreover different pharmacological preventive therapies (pizotifen, cyproheptadine and methysergide) are antagonist of the same receptor class. On the other side the activation of 5-HT1B-1D receptors (triptans and ergotamines) induce a vasocostriction, a block of neurogenic inflammation and pain transmission.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • m-Chlorophenylpiperazine
  • Migraine
  • Pathogenesis
  • Serotonin
  • Triptans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

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