Rhynchophylline attenuates migraine in trigeminal nucleus caudalis in nitroglycerin-induced rat model by inhibiting MAPK/NF-кB signaling

  • Tianbao Lai
  • Liangyi Chen
  • Xingyu Chen
  • Jianquan He
  • Peiyu LvEmail author
  • Hua GeEmail author


Migraine causes severe health and social issues worldwide. Rhynchophylline (Rhy) is one of the major active components of Uncaria rhynchophylla that is used for the treatment of headache in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the current study, the effect of Rhy on nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced migraine was assessed and the associated mechanism was also explored to explain its function. Rats were pre-treated with Rhy of two doses (10 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg) and then subjected to NTG to induce migraine symptoms. Thereafter, the electroencephalogram (EEG) signaling, spontaneous behaviors, levels of indicators related to oxidative stress, and expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were measured to assess the anti-migraine function of Rhy. Moreover, the activities of MAPK/NF-κB pathway under the administrations of Rhy were also detected. The results showed that NTG induced EEG and behavior disorders in rats, which was associated with the initiation of oxidative stress and increased expression of CGRP. Nevertheless, the pre-treatments with Rhy attenuated the damages induced by NTG by reversing the levels of all the above indicators. The results of western blotting demonstrated that the anti-migraine effect of Rhy was accompanied by the inhibition of MAPK/NF-кB pathway. The findings outlined in the current study revealed an alternative mechanism of Rhy in protecting brain tissues against migraine: the agent exerted its effect by suppressing MAPK/NF-кB pathway, which would ameliorate impairments associated with migraine.


Migraine NF-кB Nitroglycerin Oxidative stress Rhynchophylline 



This study was supported by Fujian Health and Family Planning Youth Research Project (No. 2016-2-66).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors disclose no conflict of interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyZhongshan Hospital of Xiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.Department of PharmacyZhongshan Hospital of Xiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  3. 3.Rehabilitation DepartmentZhongshan Hospital of Xiamen UniversityXiamenChina

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