Literature Monitor

Migraine and Dysfunction of Discrete Cell Types

Cephalalgia; ePub 2018 Mar 2; Renthal


Both familial and common migraine may arise from dysfunction of discrete cell types within the neurovascular unit, and localization of the affected cell type(s) in an individual patient may provide insight into to their susceptibility to migraine, according to a recent study. The cell-type specific expression of both familial and common migraine-associated genes was determined bioinformatically using data from 2039 individual human brain cells across 2 published single-cell RNA sequencing datasets. Enrichment of migraine-associated genes was determined for each brain cell type. Researchers found:

  • Analysis of single-brain cell RNA sequencing data from 5 major subtypes of cells in the human cortex (neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia, and endothelial cells) indicates that greater than 40% of known migraine-associated genes are enriched in the expression profiles of a specific brain cell type.
  • Further analysis of neuronal migraine-associated genes demonstrated that approximately 70% were significantly enriched in inhibitory neurons and 30% in excitatory neurons.

Localization of migraine susceptibility genes in human brain by single-cell RNA sequencing. [Published online ahead of print March 2, 2018]. Cephalalgia. doi:10.1177/0333102418762476.

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