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U Texas "confirms a relationship' between gene variant & fibromyalgia; may explain differing subgroup responses to meds

  [ 7 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 17, 2011

Genetic Polymorphisms of the Beta 2-Adrenergic Receptor Relate to Guanosine Protein-coupled Stimulator Receptor Dysfunction in Fibromyalgia Syndrome – Source: Journal of Rheumatology, Mar 15, 2011

by Yangming Xiao, Weijing He, I Jon Russell

Objective: To determine the genotype frequencies of Beta (2)-adrenergic receptor (Beta (2)AR) gene polymorphisms (Gly16Arg, Glu27Gln) in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) by comparison with unrelated healthy controls.

We sought any clinical association with these polymorphisms and determined whether the polymorphisms would associate with a biologic guanosine protein-coupled stimulator receptor (Gs) dysfunction in FM.

Study subjects included 97 clinically characterized patients with FM and 59 controls. The Beta (2)AR polymorphisms at codons 16 and 27 were determined using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. The Gs functions of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were tested using isoproterenol (ISO) as the adrenergic Gs ligand and measuring intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels.


• The frequency of the Beta (2)AR gene polymorphism Gly16Arg in FM (43.5%) was significantly lower than in controls (63.2%), suggesting that this genotype might have some effect on the risk of developing FM.

• The only clinical association in FM was with sleep dysfunction.

• Patients with FM who carried the Beta (2)AR polymorphism Arg16Arg also exhibited significantly lower PBMC basal cAMP levels (p < 0.05) and lower ISO-stimulated cAMP levels (p < 0.05) than FM carrying Gly16Gly or Gly16Arg.


• This confirms a relationship between Beta (2)AR polymorphism and FM.

• It is the first study to demonstrate Beta (2)AR polymorphism-related differences in intracellular cAMP responses of FM PBMC after Beta (2)AR stimulation in vitro.

• These findings may explain some of the differences in responsiveness of FM subgroups to the adrenergic agonist medications currently approved for FM treatment.

Source: Journal of Rheumatology, Mar 15, 2011. PMID: 21406495, by Xiao Y, He W, Russell IJ. Divisions of Clinical Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas, USA. [E-mail:

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