Migraine and adiponectin: Is there a connection?

B. L. Peterlin, M. E. Bigal, S. J. Tepper, M. Urakaze, F. D. Sheftell, A. M. Rapoport

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Migraine is a common disorder, characterized by recurrent episodes of headache and associated symptoms. The full pathophysiology of migraine is incompletely delineated. Current theories suggest that it is a neurovascular disorder involving cortical depression, neurogenic inflammation and vasodilation. Various neuropeptides and cytokines have been implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine including calcitonin gene-related peptide, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α. There is evidence demonstrating an association between migraine and processes associated with inflammation, atherosclerosis, immunity and insulin sensitivity. Similarly, adiponectin, an adipocytokine secreted by adipose tissue, has protective roles against the development of insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia and atherosclerosis and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory activities of adiponectin include inhibition of IL-6 and TNF-induced IL-8 formation, as well as induction of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and IL-1 receptor antagonist. Adiponectin levels are also inversely correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP), TNF-α and IL-6 levels. Likewise, recent studies have shown a possible correlation between CRP, TNF-α and IL-6 and migraine attacks. In addition, insulin sensitivity is impaired in migraine and obesity is a risk factor for the transformation from episodic to chronic migraine. In this review we discuss the basic science of adiponectin and its potential connection to the pathophysiology of migraine. Future research may focus on how adiponectin levels are potentially altered during migraine attacks, and how that information can be potentially translated into migraine therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-446
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Adiponectin
  • Cytokines
  • Headache
  • Migraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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