Blockers of L-, N-, and P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) were topically applied to the cortical surface of anaesthetized adult rats to study their role in cortical spreading depression (CSD), a correlate of the migraine aura. By pricking the brain, single CSD could still be elicited after blockade of the three different types of VGCCs as in the untreated brain. Topical KCl application to the untreated cortex resulted in repetitive CSD. However, after application of blockers at either L-, or N-, or P/Q-type VGCCs to the cortical surface, application of KCl elicited only one or very few CSD, and their repetition rate was dramatically reduced. The results suggest that cortical excitability resulting in repetitive CSD is markedly influenced by N- and P/Q-type VGCCs and less by L-type VGCCs.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.