Cytokine patterns in Fibromyalgia and their correlation with clinical manifestations

Journal: Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. 2007 Mar-Apr;25(2):225-30.

Authors and affiliation: Bazzichi L, Rossi A, Massimetti G, Giannaccini G, Giuliano T, De Feo F, Ciapparelli A, Dell'osso L, Bombardieri S. Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

PMID: 17543146

Objective: To examine the possible role of the soluble factor in Fibromyalgia (FM) by studying the correlation of cytokine levels with the patients' clinical and psychiatric profile. [Cytokines are chemical signals released by many types of cells that accomplish cell-to-cell communication. They are made up of water-soluble proteins/glycoproteins, are particularly important in immune responses, and are involved in a variety of immunological, inflammatory, and infectious diseases.]

Methods: Eighty FM patients underwent clinical and psychiatric evaluations, and plasma levels of cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-alpha), aspecific markers of inflammation, rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-extractable nuclear antigen (ENA) antibodies, and anti-nuclear factor (FAN) were measured.

Results: Higher levels of IL-10, IL-8 and TNF-alpha were found in FM patients than in controls. Significant correlations between the biochemical parameters and clinical data were found.

Conclusion: The higher levels of cytokines found in FM patients suggest the presence of an inflammatory response system and highlight a parallel between the clinical symptoms and biochemical data. [Inflammatory response is inflammation responding to cellular injury by bacteria, toxins, trauma, or any other cause.] They support the hypothesis that cytokines may play a role in the clinical features of Fibromyalgia.

In addition, the similar cytokine patterns found in FM patients with different psychiatric profiles suggests that inflammatory response system impairment may play a specific role in the disease.

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