Serum ghrelin levels but not GH, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels are altered in patients with Fibromyalgia syndrome

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(Note: Ghrelin is a hormone with complex functions, best known for stimulating appetite.)

Introduction: Both hypothalamo-pituitary-insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis and ghrelin levels may be altered in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) due to increased somatostatin tone. The aim of this study is to compare hypothalamo-pituitary-IGF-1 axis, ghrelin concentrations and their relations in premenopausal women with FMS and premenopausal healthy controls.

Methods: Seventy-five women (47 FMS and 28 healthy women) were enrolled in the study. Fasting plasma glucose, serum growth hormone (GH), insulin, C-peptide, IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and ghrelin levels were measured. Depressive symptoms were assessed using beck depression inventory. Pain intensity and sleep disturbance were recorded on a visual analog scale. The activity of daily living was assessed by fibromyalgia impact questionnaire.

Results: There were no significant differences in GH, IGF-1, IGFBP-3, glucose, insulin, and C-peptide levels between patients and controls (p>0.05), whereas ghrelin levels were significantly lower in patients than controls (p<0.05). Ghrelin levels were not correlated with GH, IGF-1, IGFBP-3, glucose, insulin, and C-peptide levels while they were positively correlated with tender point score and sleep disturbance score and negatively correlated with pain intensity score.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that low levels of ghrelin in FMS are not related to the changes in hypothalamo-pituitary-IGF-1 axis but may be related to some symptoms of FMS. Our results need to be clarified by further studies.

Source: Joint Bone Spine. 2007 Jun 29; [E-publication ahead of print] PMID: 17689128, by Tander B, Atmaca A, Aliyazicioglu Y, Canturk F. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ondokuz Mayis University School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey.