Pain & Analgesia

Models of Migraine

Migraine headache is a complex neurovascular disorder, causing a unilateral pulsating headache. The most common migraine can be classified into two types: (i) migraine with aura and (ii) migraine without aura. Migraine is not yet entirely understood, and limited treatments are available. Greentech Bioscience is devoted to offering nitroglycerin induced migraine in mice or rats and capsaicin-induced dermal blood flow models for investigating pathophysiology of migraine and developing anti-migraine drugs.

Animal Models of Migraine

Greentech provides drug efficacy testing based on validated migraine models that best conform to your study aim.

1. Nitroglycerin-Induced Migraine Model

Nitroglycerin (NTG) induced migraine is a widely used experimental model of migraine, characterized by simplicity, flexibility, and reproducibility. Intravenous or intraperitoneal injection of NTG causes significant increase of NO concentration in rodents. NO is neurotoxic and induces a series of responses including vasodilatation, neuroinflammation and change of neurotransmitter, eventually, leading to migraine-like symptoms.

Animal Species

Mice, rats

Clinical Assessment

(1) Abnormal behaviors recording and statistics: red ears, head-scratching, body shaking and cage crawling;

(2) Behavioral tests: mechanical threshold and thermal threshold

(3) Measurement of 5-HT and NO levels

Case Study

SD rat model of migraine

SD rat model of migraine.png

Figure 1. The numbers of abnormal behaviors in the migraine rat model.

2. Capsaicin Induced Dermal Blood Flow Model

Capsaicin is an agonist at the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) relaxed feline cerebral arteries via elicitation of endogenous calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) release in a concentration-dependent manner, causing endogenous CGRP release. The capsaicin induced dermal blood flow (DBF) model is a validated experimental model to test CGRP-targeting therapies. This model is characterized by non-invasiveness, simplicity, and reproducibility.

Animal Species

Rats, non-human primates (NHPs)

Clinical Assessment

Skin blood flow (DBF)

Case Study

Skin blood flow changes after topical administration of capsaicin

Skin blood flow changes after topical administration of capsaicin.png


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1. Tardiolo G, Bramanti P, Mazzon E. Migraine: Experimental Models and Novel Therapeutic Approaches[J]. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2019, 20(12):2932.

2. Gupta Saurabh, Villalón Carlos M. The relevance of preclinical research models for the development of antimigraine drugs: focus on 5-HT(1B/1D) and CGRP receptors. Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Oct;128(1):170-90.

3. Ibrahimi K,Vermeersch S,Frederiks P,et al.The influence of migraine and female hormones on capsaicin-induced dermal blood flow.[J].Cephalalgia,2017,12:1164-1172.