• Parabrachial complex processes dura inputs through a direct trigeminal ganglion-to-parabrachial connection

      Uddin, Olivia; Anderson, Michael; Smith, Jesse; Masri, Radi; Keller, Asaf (Elsevier B.V., 2021-01-21)
      Migraines cause significant disability and contribute heavily to healthcare costs. Irritation of the meninges’ outermost layer (the dura mater), and trigeminal ganglion activation contribute to migraine initiation. Maladaptive changes in central pain-processing regions are also important in maintaining pain. The parabrachial complex (PB) is a central region that mediates chronic pain. PB receives diverse sensory information, including a direct input from the trigeminal ganglion. We hypothesized that PB processes inputs from the dura. Using in vivo electrophysiology recordings from single units in anesthetized rats we identified 58 neurons in lateral PB that respond reliably and with short latency to electrical dura stimulation. After injecting tracer into PB, anatomical examination reveals retrogradely labeled cell bodies in the trigeminal ganglion. Neuroanatomical tract-tracing revealed a population of neurons in the trigeminal ganglion that innervate the dura and project directly to PB. These findings indicate that PB is strategically placed to process dura inputs and suggest that it is directly involved in the pathogenesis of migraine headaches.