Beta-endorphin concentrations in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of migraine and tension-type headache patients

Cephalalgia. 1992 Jun;12(3):154-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1992.1203155.x.


Levels of beta-endorphin in peripheral blood mononuclear cells have been studied as a new approach to investigating opioid tone in migraine and tension-type headache. Sixty-one patients with migraine without aura, 39 with migraine with aura and 23 with episodic tension-type headache were compared with 37 healthy controls. Peripheral blood samples were taken from patients not enduring headache attacks and not undergoing prophylactic treatment. A significant reduction in peripheral blood mononuclear cell beta-endorphin concentrations was observed in migraine patients with and without aura, but not in tension-type headache patients. Altered transmitter modulation to peripheral blood mononuclear cells may be the cause of this alteration, which could be part of a more diffuse opioid system derangement in migraine subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Headache / blood*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / blood*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • beta-Endorphin / blood*


  • beta-Endorphin