Hangover headache and its behavioral changes in rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Hubei Provincial Key Lab for Quality and Safety of Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Food, Hubei, China

2 Laboratory Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China


Objective(s): The present study aims to establish and evaluate a rat model for hangover headaches caused by alcoholic drinks.
Materials and Methods: Chronic migraine (CM) model rats were divided into 3 groups, and intragastrically administered alcoholic drinks (sample A, B, or C) to simulate hangover headache attacks. The withdrawal threshold for the hind paw/face and the thermal latency of hind paw withdrawal were detected after 24 hr. Serum was collected from the periorbital venous plexus of rats in each group, and enzymatic immunoassays were used to determine the serum levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P (SP), and nitric oxide (NO).
Results: Compared with the control group, the mechanical hind paw pain threshold was significantly lower in rats administered Samples A and B after 24 hr; however, no significant difference was observed across groups for the thermal pain threshold. The mechanical threshold for periorbital pain was only significantly reduced in rats administered Sample A. Immunoassays further indicated that serum levels of SP in the group administered Sample A were significantly higher than those in the control group; the serum levels of NO and CGRP were significantly higher in the group of rats receiving Sample B.
Conclusion: We successfully developed an effective and safe rat model for investigating alcohol drink induced hangover headaches. This model could be used to investigate the mechanisms associated with hangover headaches for the development of novel and promising candidates for the future treatment or prophylaxis of hangover headaches.


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