William R. Renthal, MD, PhD Director of Research, John R. Graham Headache Center Department of Neurology Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Brigham Study Identifies Genes That Drive Migraines

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

William R. Renthal, MD, PhD Director of Research, John R. Graham Headache Center Department of Neurology Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Renthal

William R. Renthal, MD, PhD
Director of Research, John R. Graham Headache Center
Department of Neurology
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? 

Response: We know that a nervous system structure called the trigeminal ganglion plays a critical role in migraine headache, but the cell types that exist in this structure are poorly understood. We have used cutting-edge, single-cell genomic technologies to profile the genes expressed within each trigeminal ganglion cell type in both human and mouse with the goal of identifying molecular features that could allow us to inhibit head pain selectively without affecting other cell types.

MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings?

Response: In addition to finding that human and mice have similar general classes of trigeminal ganglion cell types, our study identifies genes and cell types that are implicated both by human genetics and animal headache models. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We have new insight into the cell types that drive head pain in both humans and animal models. This study can help the field develop improved migraine treatments. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We are really excited about future studies of genes that are uniquely expressed in trigeminal nociceptors, or the neurons that transmit pain signals to the brain. Their selective expression may allow us to inhibit headache and facial pain more selectively without the side effects observed with other pain treatments (e.g. opioids).

Disclosures: We received funding from Teva Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Renthal is on an Abbvie SAB.

Citation:

Lite Yang, Mengyi Xu, Shamsuddin A. Bhuiyan, Jia Li, Jun Zhao, Randall J. Cohrs, Justin T. Susterich, Sylvia Signorelli, Ursula Green, James R. Stone, Dan Levy, Jochen K. Lennerz, William Renthal. Human and mouse trigeminal ganglia cell atlas implicates multiple cell types in migraine. Neuron, 2022; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2022.03.003

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Mar 29, 2022 @ 2:13 pm

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