Plasma from female patients with fibromyalgia had lower levels of fractalkine cytokines than healthy control patients, according to results of a recently published study.
Plasma analysis of levels of fractalkine, an inflammatory chemokine with chemotactic activity for monocytes that mediates pain, was conducted by taking blood samples from 17 female fibromyalgia (FM) patients (32 years to 60 years of age) and 10 female age-matched control participants. All FM patients had been diagnosed by a rheumatologist according to American College of Rheumatology criteria. The control participants were sedentary and had no symptoms of pain or infection. Exclusion criteria included neoplastic disorder based on medical history, infection, cardiopulmonary, vascular, or other internal medical conditions and oral or local corticosteroid or anticytokine use that may affect cytokine levels.
After analysis with an enzyme-like immunoassay, the plasma from FM patients was lower (mean 5.021 ng/mL) than in the healthy group (mean 8.511 ng/mL). The production of soluble fractalkine by isolated monocytes was similar in the groups.
Because fractalkine is generated by the limited proteolysis of a disintegrin and metallopeptidase (ADAM), metallopeptidase domain 10 (ADAM10) and ADAM17, a tumor necrosis factor-α-converting enzyme, the researchers speculated the functionality of ADAM10 or ADAM17 may be impaired, but not as related to monocytes.
“Fibromyalgia patients showed lower plasma fractalkine than healthy women,” the researchers wrote. “Since most inflammatory pathologies show elevated plasma levels of soluble fractalkine, the results may contribute towards a differential diagnosis for fibromyalgia.”
Disclosure: This work was supported by FundeSalud and Junta de Extremadura-FEDER.