Skip to main content

Neuroimmune Interplay in Headache

Editors:
Gregory Dussor: University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Kristian Agmund Haanes: University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 1 February 2024


The Journal of Headache and Pain is calling for submissions to our Collection on Neuroimmune Interplay in Headache.

Neuroimmune interplay is thought to play a role in the development and progression of headache. Despite significant progress in our understanding of headache and migraine pathophysiology, there are still many open questions about the role of neuroimmune interplay in this disorder.

Through a series of expert-authored articles, this Collection will explore the latest research on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of migraine-associated neuroimmune interplay, as well as the clinical implications of these findings.

Image credits: © DANIEL SCHROEN / CELL APPLICATIONS INC / Science Photo Library 

Meet the Editors

Back to top

Gregory Dussor: University of Texas at Dallas, USA

Dr. Gregory Dussor is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas. The focus of his laboratory is the understanding of the pathophysiology of chronic headache disorders such as migraine. His work focuses on mechanisms of activation and sensitization of peripheral nociceptors innervating the cranial meninges with a goal of understanding how these neurons contribute to the pain phase of migraine attacks. Using several preclinical models, his group has identified and studied numerous targets within this afferent nociceptive system including acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), TRPA1/M8/V4 channels, and both adrenergic and IL-6 signaling mechanisms. More recently, his work has focused on mechanisms that may lead to the higher prevalence of migraine in females. These studies are based on differential prolactin-receptor signaling in the trigeminal system between males and females. Dr. Dussor has published over 115 peer-reviewed research articles and is on the editorial boards of Pain, Pain Reports, Molecular Pain, the Journal of Pain, the Journal of Headache and Pain, and the Journal of Neuroscience. He is also on the advisory board of the Association of Migraine Disorder’s Migraine Science Collaborative.

Kristian Agmund Haanes: University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Originally Norwegian, Kristian A. Haanes took his BSc at the University of Bergen, Norway, with one year as an exchange student at Glasgow University, UK. Directly after his BSc in 2007, he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where the MSc in biochemistry was completed. Kristian started his PhD in 2009 in the group of Prof. Ivana Novak at Copenhagen University, working with purinergic signaling (extracellular signaling with nucleotides) with the focus on the pancreas.

After defending the PhD early in 2013, Kristian as a Post Doc in Prof. Lars Edvinsson’s group in Glostrup, Denmark. During the years at Glostrup research institute, a part of Copenhagen University hospital, he explored vascular physiology using myography, again with particular focus on purinergic signaling.

Working with Prof. Edvinsson, he got inspired by Edvinsson’s work on migraine. With the focus on purinergic signaling Kristian created a fellowship proposal in collaboration with Dr. Maassen van den Brink at Erasmus MC, named PUREMEDY, Purinergic Receptor Exploration in Migraine – Eliminating the Disadvantages of Yesterday’s drugs, with the acronym pointing to a pure remedy, without vascular side effects.

Currently Kristian holds a Senior Researcher at Rigshospitalet Glostrup and Associate Professor at the Department of Biology at Copenhagen University. He leads the Sensory Biology Unit, which is focused on understanding the fundamental processes underlying the sensory innervation with particular focus on pain-related sensory neurons. The research is based on the knowledge that sensory systems use similar biological processes for signaling, adaptation and modulation, and for protection from injury. Important current projects include the understanding of migraine pain and its associated sensory disturbances and is funded by the Lundbeck Foundation.

About the Collection

Neuroimmune interplay is thought to play a role in the development and progression of headache. Despite significant progress in our understanding of headache and migraine pathophysiology, there are still many open questions about the role of neuroimmune interplay in this disorder. For the current Collection, we view neuroimmune interplay in the broadest sense, and include glia cells, oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells and even astrocytes, as they demonstrate interconnectedness of neural and immune functions by participating in immune responses within the nervous system, releasing cytokines and signaling molecules, while also maintaining homeostasis and regulating the inflammatory processes.

One of the most important questions of the Collection is how neuroimmune interplay could contribute to the initiation and maintenance of headache or more specific migraine attacks, potentially leading to chronification? For instance, what causes the release of immune mediators in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, and how do these mediators interact with neurons, glia, and other cells to sustain pain and other symptoms? It is assumed that frequent and long-lasting migraine attacks can cause structural changes in the brain, which may perpetuate the disorder. How does neuroimmune interplay affect these changes, if at all? In addition, there are still questions regarding the efficacy of treatments targeting neuroimmune interactions in migraine. Although some studies suggest that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other treatments targeting immune responses may help lessen the frequency and intensity of headaches in general and migraine attacks specifically, it is unclear how these medications operate, or which patients are most likely to benefit. The relationship between neuroimmune interplay and other factors that may influence headache and migraine, such as hormonal fluctuations, stress, and diet, is another unanswered question. In addition, a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying headache-associated neuroimmune interplay is required for the development of more targeted and effective treatments. Finally, the thematic series aims to focus on the emerging field of neuroimmunology, which is uncovering new insights into the complex interactions between the immune system and the nervous system in headache and migraine.

Through a series of expert-authored articles, this Collection will explore the latest research on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of migraine-associated neuroimmune interplay, as well as the clinical implications of these findings. This will be further bridged with early clinical studies, focusing on uncovering markers of neuroimmune interactions in patients.

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

Back to top

This Collection welcomes submission of research articles and reviews. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Neuroimmune Interplay in Headache" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer-review process. The peer-review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.