Although the understanding of migraine pathophysiology is incomplete, it is now well accepted that this neurovascular syndrome is mainly due to a cranial vasodilation with activation of the trigeminal system. Several experimental migraine models, based on vascular and neuronal involvement, have been developed. Obviously, the migraine models do not entail all facets of this clinically heterogeneous disorder, but their contribution at several levels (molecular, in vitro, in vivo) has been crucial in the development of novel antimigraine drugs and in the understanding of migraine pathophysiology. One important vascular in vivo model, based on an assumption that migraine headache involves cranial vasodilation, determines porcine arteriovenous anastomotic blood flow. Other models utilize electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion/nerve to study neurogenic dural inflammation, while the superior sagittal sinus stimulation model takes into account the transmission of trigeminal nociceptive input in the brainstem. More recently, the introduction of integrated models, namely electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion or systemic administration of capsaicin, allows studying the activation of the trigeminal system and its effect on the cranial vasculature. Studies using in vitro models have contributed enormously during the preclinical stage to characterizing the receptors in cranial blood vessels and to studying the effects of several putative antimigraine agents. The aforementioned migraine models have advantages as well as some limitations. The present review is devoted to discussing various migraine models and their relevance to antimigraine therapy.

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Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache
Department of Pharmacology

Arulmani, U., Gupta, S., Maassen van den Brink, A., Centurion, D., Villalón, C., & Saxena, P. R. (2006). Experimental migraine models and their relevance in migraine therapy. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache (Vol. 26, pp. 642–649). doi:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2005.01082.x