Changes in the gene expression profile during spontaneous migraine attacks

Lisette J A Kogelman, Katrine Falkenberg, Alfonso Buil, Pau Erola, Julie Courraud, Susan Svane Laursen, Tom Michoel, Jes Olesen, Thomas F Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Migraine attacks are delimited, allowing investigation of changes during and outside attack. Gene expression fluctuates according to environmental and endogenous events and therefore, we hypothesized that changes in RNA expression during and outside a spontaneous migraine attack exist which are specific to migraine. Twenty-seven migraine patients were assessed during a spontaneous migraine attack, including headache characteristics and treatment effect. Blood samples were taken during attack, two hours after treatment, on a headache-free day and after a cold pressor test. RNA-Sequencing, genotyping, and steroid profiling were performed. RNA-Sequences were analyzed at gene level (differential expression analysis) and at network level, and genomic and transcriptomic data were integrated. We found 29 differentially expressed genes between ‘attack’ and ‘after treatment’, after subtracting non-migraine specific genes, that were functioning in fatty acid oxidation, signaling pathways and immune-related pathways. Network analysis revealed mechanisms affected by changes in gene interactions, e.g. ‘ion transmembrane transport’. Integration of genomic and transcriptomic data revealed pathways related to sumatriptan treatment, i.e. ‘5HT1 type receptor mediated signaling pathway’. In conclusion, we uniquely investigated intra-individual changes in gene expression during a migraine attack. We revealed both genes and pathways potentially involved in the pathophysiology of migraine and/or migraine treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8294
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021

Structured keywords

  • ICEP


  • gene expression
  • neurological disorders
  • RNA sequencing
  • transcriptomics


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