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A comparative study on antibodies to nucleoli & 5-hydroxytryptamine in patients with fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome & tryptophan-induced eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome

  [ 66 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • July 3, 1994

Eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS) has been related to intake of
"contaminated" L-tryptophan, and an alteration in tryptophan
5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) metabolism has been
reported in EMS patients. Recently we found that a defined
autoantibody pattern consisting of antibodies to nucleoli,
gangliosides, and phospholipids is closely related to the
fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) which clinically resembles the EMS.
We were therefore interested to see whether these antibodies
can also be detected in patients with EMS. Studied were 27
patients with acute EMS (13 of whom were also examined 2 years
after acute onset), 100 patients with FS, and 40 patients with
progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS). As controls, sera from
100 blood donors were analyzed. Antibodies to nucleoli were
demonstrated by immunofluorescence test on cell cultures in
52% of patients with acute EMS, 62% of patients with chronic
EMS, and 37% of FS patients. Western blotting with a nuclear
extract from HeLa cells revealed in both diseases the same
epitopes at 63, 57, and 53 kDa. Antibodies to 5-HT,
gangliosides (Gm1), and phospholipids were determined by
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Among patients with FS 73%
had antibodies to 5-HT, in contrast to only 19% of patients
with acute EMS. However, 77% of the 13 EMS patients analyzed 2
years later had become anti-5-HT antibody positive during that
time. Also the incidence of antibodies to Gm1 increased from
37% at acute onset to 69% in patients with chronic EMS (30%).
The various antibodies were detected in only 18% of healthy

Klein R, Berg PA

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