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 Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells

19.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>