Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lower levels of anti-inflammatory proteins may contribute to chronic widespread pain

27.07.2006
Chronic widespread pain, a common medical condition, can be difficult to treat and is often associated with fatigue, poor sleep and depression.

A connection between fibromayalgia (FM) and cytokines (proteins that act as messengers between cells) was suspected after cancer patients treated with the cytokine interleukin -2 developed FM-like symptoms. Since then, other studies have shown contradictory results. A new study published in the August 2006 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism examined cytokine profiles in patients with chronic widespread pain and found that they had significantly lower levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-10.

Led by Nurcan Üçeyler of Julius-Maximilians University in Wurzburg, Germany, researchers analyzed cytokines in 40 patients with chronic widespread pain (26 of whom had FM), 40 controls and an additional group of 15 patients. The 40 pain patients had received intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) as a novel treatment for pain that was not responsive to standard therapy, while the additional 15 patients did not receive this treatment. Blood samples were analyzed for both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, patients were asked to rate their pain, fatigue, mood, cognitive function and sleep quality on a scale of 1 to 10.

Patients in the pain group did not differ in the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-2, IL-8 and TNFα, but did have significantly lower levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 compared with the healthy control group. The 15 patients in the additional group showed similar findings, although the difference in IL-10 between this group and the controls was not statistically significant.

The authors point out that there may be several factors involved in the cause of low cytokine levels and how they might be linked to pain. Previous studies have shown that IL-10, administered as a protein or via gene transfer, reduces sensitivity to pain. Similarly, IL-4 has been shown to dull the pain response. "Signals arising through physiologic stimulation of the opioid receptor system may be reduced in patients with low IL-4 levels with subsequent increase in pain perception and the common relative opioid resistance seen in patients with chronic widespread pain," the authors note. In addition, genetic variations in different cytokine genes are associated with distinct diseases, such as the association between IL-4 gene variations and asthma, Crohn's disease, and chronic polyarthritis. "The low levels of IL-4 and IL-10 we observed in the patients with chronic widespread pain might therefore also be caused by genetic alterations either in the cytokine genes themselves or in regulatory elements, although other factors may be involved," the authors state.

The authors acknowledge that this study on 6 key cytokines does not exclude the possibility that other cytokines may play a role in chronic widespread pain. While they acknowledge that low levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines may be a consequence of chronic widespread pain and its treatment, they favor the hypothesis that these proteins actually play a role in the pathophysiology of chronic widespread pain. "Once confirmed and validated in further studies," they conclude, "cytokine expression patterns may eventually help in supporting the diagnosis of chronic widespread pain and in guiding the appropriate treatment approach."

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wiley.com
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>