Trace amines, including tyramine, octopamine and synephrine, are closely related to classic biogenic amines. In one study, where these substances were found elevated in plasma of migraineurs, it was hypothesized that trace amine metabolism is deranged in migraine. To confirm these findings, we studied, using a multichannel electrochemical high-performance liquid chromatography system, the concentrations of trace amines in platelets of migraine without aura (MoA) and migraine with aura (MA) patients in headache-free period, compared with controls. Platelet concentrations of trace amines, although elevated in both migraine types, showed a different profile in MoA and MA. Octopamine was significantly higher in MoA sufferers (0.69 +/- 0.43 ng/10(8) platelets) compared with both control subjects (0.22 +/- 0.16 ng/10(8) platelets) and MA patients (0.39 +/- 0.37 ng/10(8) platelets). Synephrine was significantly higher in MA patients (0.72 +/- 0.44 ng/10(8) platelets) with respect to both controls (0.33 +/- 0.25 ng/10(8) platelets) and MoA sufferers (0.37 +/- 0.29 ng/10(8) platelets). These results strengthen the hypothesis that tyrosine metabolism is deranged in migraine and may participate in its pathophysiology.
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