Animal models of fibromyalgia

Arthritis Res Ther. 2013;15(6):222. doi: 10.1186/ar4402.


Animal models of disease states are valuable tools for developing new treatments and investigating underlying mechanisms. They should mimic the symptoms and pathology of the disease and importantly be predictive of effective treatments. Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain with associated co-morbid symptoms that include fatigue, depression, anxiety and sleep dysfunction. In this review, we present different animal models that mimic the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia. These models are induced by a wide variety of methods that include repeated muscle insults, depletion of biogenic amines, and stress. All potential models produce widespread and long-lasting hyperalgesia without overt peripheral tissue damage and thus mimic the clinical presentation of fibromyalgia. We describe the methods for induction of the model, pathophysiological mechanisms for each model, and treatment profiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Fibromyalgia*