Low levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines in fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia may be more closely associated with poor anti-inflammatory mechanisms than with inflammation directly.

IL-10 is an important anti-inflammatory messenger in the body. It helps turn inflammation off.

In the study summarized below it was found in lower than normal levels in fibromyalgia patients.

The publication:

August, 2006

Reduced levels of antiinflammatory cytokines in patients with chronic widespread pain.

Summary of the abstract

The term chronic widespread pain refers to a group of painful diseases of poorly understood pathophysiology. One major subgroup is fibromyalgia.

Among other hypotheses, a potential pathophysiologic role of cytokines in chronic widespread pain has been proposed. This study was designed to investigate whether cytokine profiles differ in patients with chronic widespread pain by looking at levels of IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF), and transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1.)

Significantly lower levels of IL-4 and IL-10 were found for those patients with chronic widespread pain.

CONCLUSION: Chronic widespread pain is associated with a lack of antiinflammatory and analgesic Th2 cytokine activity, which may contribute to its pathogenesis.


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