Ictal adipokines are associated with pain severity and treatment response in episodic migraine

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To evaluate ictal adipokine levels in episodic migraineurs and their association with pain severity and treatment response.


This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating peripheral blood specimens from episodic migraineurs at acute pain onset and 30 to 120 minutes after treatment with sumatriptan/naproxen sodium vs placebo. Total adiponectin (T-ADP), ADP multimers (high molecular weight [HMW], middle molecular weight, and low molecular weight [LMW]), leptin, and resistin levels were evaluated by immunoassays.


Thirty-four participants (17 responders, 17 nonresponders) were included. In all participants, pretreatment pain severity increased with every quartile increase in both the HMW:T-ADP ratio (coefficient of variation [CV] 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.08, 0.93; p = 0.019) and resistin levels (CV 0.58; 95% CI: 0.21, 0.96; p = 0.002), but was not associated with quartile changes in leptin levels. In responders, T-ADP (CV −0.98; 95% CI: −1.88, −0.08; p = 0.031) and resistin (CV −0.95; 95% CI: −1.83, −0.07; p = 0.034) levels decreased 120 minutes after treatment as compared with pretreatment. In addition, in responders, the HMW:T-ADP ratio (CV −0.04; 95% CI: −0.07, −0.01; p = 0.041) decreased and the LMW:T-ADP ratio (CV 0.04; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.07; p = 0.043) increased at 120 minutes after treatment. In nonresponders, the LMW:T-ADP ratio (CV −0.04; 95% CI: −0.07, −0.01; p = 0.018) decreased 120 minutes after treatment. Leptin was not associated with treatment response.


Both pretreatment migraine pain severity and treatment response are associated with changes in adipokine levels. Adipokines represent potential novel migraine biomarkers and drug targets.

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