Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome characterized by widespread chronic pain. Its aetiology is still poorly understood, and there are no haematochemical or instrumental tests on which to base a diagnosis. Recent studies suggest that its pathogenesis may involve cytokines, in particular, chemokines - cytokines that regulate cell traffic under both physiological and pathological conditions. The aim of this study was to determine possible differences in the profile of systemic concentrations of chemokines between FM patients and healthy women (HW; controls).
Methods: The study participants were women diagnosed with FM (n = 17) and a control group of HW (n = 10). Serum concentrations of thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC)/(CCL17), monokine induced by gamma-interferon (MIG)/(CXCL9), macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC)/(CCL22), interferon-inducible T-cell alpha chemoattractant (I-TAC)/(CXCL11), eotaxin (CCL11), pulmonary and activation-regulated chemokine (PARC)/(CCL18) and hemofiltrate CC-chemokine-4 (HCC-4)/(CCL16) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and compared between the FM and HW groups.
Results: FM patients had elevated serum levels of the following inflammatory chemokines: TARC (P < 0.001), MIG (P < 0.001), MDC (P < 0.01), I-TAC (P < 0.01) and eotaxin (P < 0.05). No differences were found in the circulating concentrations of PARC and HCC-4 (homoeostatic chemokines).
Conclusions: Since FM patients present higher serum concentrations of inflammatory chemokines than HW, the evaluation of these biomarkers could help in the diagnosis of this syndrome.
Keywords: Fibromyalgia; biomarkers; chemokines; diagnosis.
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