The pathophysiology theory of migraine postulates a local, neurogenic inflammation and the possible involvement of oxidative stress. We analysed the levels of 15-oxo-dihydro-prostaglandin F (a metabolite of prostaglandin F) and 8-iso-prostaglandin F (a major isoprostane), which are biomarkers for inflammation and oxidative stress respectively, in urine from 21 patients with migraine, with and without aura. Urine samples from migraine patients were collected during a migraine attack, and control samples were collected from the same subjects on a migraine-free morning. The mean basal levels of 15-oxo-dihydro-prostaglandin F and 8-iso-prostaglandin F in the morning control urine samples were 0.54±0.11 and 0.31±0.13nmol/mmol of creatinine respectively. The mean levels of 15-oxo-dihydro-prostaglandin F and 8-iso-prostaglandin F in the urine samples collected during the migraine attack in the 21 patients were 0.53±0.13 and 0.32±0.11nmol/mmol of creatinine respectively. Thus there were no differences in the 15-oxo-dihydro-prostaglandin F and 8-iso-prostaglandin F excretion rates during the migraine attack compared with on the migraine-free day. However, the basal 8-iso-prostaglandin F excretion levels on the migraine-free day were significantly lower in pre-menopausal women (0.24±0.08nmol/mmol of creatinine, n = 11) compared with post-menopausal women (0.39±0.14nmol/mmol of creatinine; n = 7; P = 0.009). In conclusion, in this study we found no support for the involvement of inflammation and oxidative stress in migraine pathophysiology. Our results indicate, however, a lower level of oxidative stress in pre-menopausal compared with post-menopausal women.

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