Unveiling the Connection Between Migraine and the Gut: Daping Yang, PhD


The postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School discussed the relationship between sensory neurons and the neuropeptide CGRP in regulating gut immunity. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes

"We do recommend that when you give patients any CGRP-related treatment to please pay attention to their gastrointestinal function."

The interaction between neuroepithelial cells has an important role in the functioning of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. In a recent study, researchers observed calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) nociceptor neurons that are closely associated with intestinal goblet cells and transmit signals that induce mucus secretion, which enhances gut protection. Thus, the results highlight the existence of a neuron-goblet cell pathway that helps in coordinating the protection of the gut mucosal barrier.1

At the 2023 AHS Annual Meeting, held June 15-18, in Austin, Texas, Daping Yang, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School presented a talk on CGRP and GI infections in a plenary session titled "'I Have a Gut Feeling' Systemic Contributions to Headache."2 The rest of the talks in the session featured conversations on abdominal migraine/cyclical vomiting, diet and migraine, and microbiome.

Yang sat down with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to provide a brief overview of the presentation, discussing some of the main takeaways from his research and what should be further explored. He talked about how nociceptive neurons in the gut become activated, and how they contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms and migraine development. In addition, Yang discussed the potential therapeutic implications of targeting CGRP or its downstream effects to address both migraines and gut-related disorders.

Click here for more coverage of AHS 2023.

1. Yang D, Jacobson A, Meerschaert KA, et al. Nociceptor neurons direct goblet cells via a CGRP-RAMP1 axis to drive mucus production and gut barrier protection. Cell. 2022;185(22):4190-4205.e25. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2022.09.024
2. Yang D. CGRP and GI Infections. Presented at: AHS Annual Meeting, 2023; June 15-18; Austin, TX. Plenary Session 4.
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