Mast-cell-specific receptor mediates alcohol-withdrawal-associated headache in male mice

Hyeonwi Son, Yan Zhang, John Shannonhouse, Hirotake Ishida, Ruben Gomez, Yu Shin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rehabilitation from alcohol addiction or abuse is hampered by withdrawal symptoms including severe headaches, which often lead to rehabilitation failure. There is no appropriate therapeutic option available for alcohol-withdrawal-induced headaches. Here, we show the role of the mast-cell-specific receptor MrgprB2 in the development of alcohol-withdrawal-induced headache. Withdrawing alcohol from alcohol-acclimated mice induces headache behaviors, including facial allodynia, facial pain expressions, and reduced movement, which are symptoms often observed in humans. Those behaviors were absent in MrgprB2-deficient mice during alcohol withdrawal. We observed in vivo spontaneous activation and hypersensitization of trigeminal ganglia (TG) neurons in alcohol-withdrawal WT mice, but not in alcohol-withdrawal MrgprB2-deficient mice. Increased mast cell degranulation by alcohol withdrawal in dura mater was dependent on the presence of MrgprB2. The results indicate that alcohol withdrawal causes headache via MrgprB2 of mast cells in dura mater, suggesting that MrgprB2 is a potential target for treating alcohol-withdrawal-related headaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-123.e4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2024


  • CRF
  • GCaMP in vivo imaging
  • MrgprB2
  • alcohol use disorder
  • alcohol withdrawal
  • dura mater
  • headache
  • mast cell
  • pain
  • primary sensory neuron
  • trigeminal ganglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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