The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image

Volume 15 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress: EHMTIC 2014

Open Access

EHMTI-0141. URB937 as a potential therapeutic option for migraine: evaluation in animal model of migraine

  • R Greco1,
  • T Bandiera2,
  • AS Mangione1,
  • F Siani3,
  • G Nappi1,
  • G Sandrini4,
  • A Guijarro2,
  • A Armirotti2,
  • D Piomelli2 and
  • C Tassorelli1
The Journal of Headache and Pain201415(Suppl 1):F27

Published: 18 September 2014


MigraineMigraine AttackAnandamideFatty Acid Amide HydrolaseMigraine Pain


Systemic nitroglycerin (NTG) activates cerebral nuclei of rat involved in nociceptive transmission, as well as in neuroendocrine and autonomic functions. These changes are considered relevant for migraine pain, since NTG consistently provokes spontaneous-like migraine attacks in migraineurs. Several reports have suggested the existence of relations between the endocannabinoids and migraine. URB937, a peripheral fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor, induces analgesia in animal models of pain but there is no information on its effects in migraine.


In this study, we evaluated whether the URB937 administration modulates c-Fos expression following NTG administration in specific brain areas of rat.


The analgesic effect of URB937 was evaluated in male Sprague Dawley rats. Animals were treated with NTG (10mg/kg, i.p.) followed by URB937 (1mg/kg i.p.) or vehicle (DMSO, 1ml/kg i.p.) and their brain processed for the detection of c-Fos protein. The principles of the Helsinki declaration and IASP's guidelines for pain research in animals were rigorously applied.The experimental research on animals was approved by ethics committee for research on animals of the University of Pavia


Brain mapping of nuclei activated by NTG administration demonstrated that peripheral FAAH inhibition with URB937, significantly reduces neuronal activation in the nucleus trigeminalis caudalis (NTC) and locus coeruleus (LC).


These findings show that URB937 may counteract the activation of nuclei involved in migraine attacks probably via the increase of anandamide levels at the meningeal level, within the trigeminovascular system, or on extracerebral vessels.

No conflict of interest.

Authors’ Affiliations

Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Integrative Autonomic Systems Headache Science Centre, “C. Mondino” National Neurological Institute, Pavia, Italy
Drug Discovery and Development, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy
Laboratory of Functional Neurochemistry Center for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, “C. Mondino” National Neurological Institute, Pavia, Italy
Dept of Brain and Behaviour, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy


© Greco et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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