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Abnormally Low Antibody Markers of Elastin Synthesis in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

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By Keith K. Colburn, et al • • October 11, 2006

Journal: Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain. Vol. 14(3) 2006:13-19 [E-Prepublication as of October 11, 2006. Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-HAWORTH, E-mail, and Website] Authors: Keith K. Colburn, John A. Rambharose, Marilyn C. Malto, Stephan Baydanoff, Lawrence B. Sandberg, Lora M. Green. Address correspondence to Keith K. Colburn, MD, Chief of Rheumatology, Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA [E-mail]. DOI: 10.1300/J094v14n03_03

Background: Antibodies [Abs] to tropoelastin [elastin precursor] and alpha-elastin [elastin breakdown product] are found in serum of all human subjects and correlate with their respective serum peptide levels; however, peptide levels vary with age and some disease states. This study was undertaken to determine if serum elastin Abs reflective of elastin metabolism were altered in patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome [FMS] by determining the ratio of serum antitropoelastin to anti-alpha-elastin Ab levels.

Method: Serum samples from 20 female patients with FMS were compared with samples from 19 age-matched healthy normal control subjects for the levels of anti-elastin Abs directed against tropoelastin and alpha elastin using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

Results: Anti-tropoelastin Abs in the sera of patients with FMS were decreased relative to the levels measured in healthy subjects [P < 0.0002]. The ratios of anti-tropoelastin to anti-alpha-elastin Abs were 1.98 versus 1.01 for control and FMS subjects, respectively. This suggested a decrease in elastin production in patients with FMS. There were no differences in the average values of anti-alpha-elastin Abs in the FMS patients sera compared to the average value of the control samples, suggesting there was no differences in elastin destruction.

Conclusions: Variations in elastin metabolism were detected in sera of patients with FMS. This suggests an altered elastin metabolism in terms of reduced elastin production in patients with FMS. The relationship between elastinmetabolismand disease pathology is currently being explored. Keywords: Anti-elastin antibodies, fibromyalgia syndrome, elastin metabolism

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