In a study of 110 patients with fibromyalgia (FM) and 91 healthy donors peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were collected and exposed to mitogenic activators PHA or PMA in combination with ionomycin. The cytokine concentrations of IFN-g, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, MIP-1ß , MCP-1, and MIP1-a in plasma as well as in cultured supernatants were determined using a multiplex immunoassay using bead array technology. The researchers found that cytokine levels of stimulated PBMC cultures of FM patients were mostly lower than stimulated samples from normal controls. The decreases of cytokine concentrations in patients samples ranged from 1.5-fold for MIP-1ß to 10.2-fold for IL-6 in PHA challenges. In PMA challenges, 1.8 to 4-fold decreases in the concentrations of cytokines in patient samples were observed. Thus cytokine responses to mitogenic activators of PBMC isolated from patients with FM were significantly lower than those of healthy individuals, suggesting that cell-mediated immunity is impaired in FM patients. This study was published by F. G. Behm, I. M. Gavin, O. Karpenko, V. Lindgren, S. Gaitonde, P. A. Gashkoff, and B. S. Gillis. Unique immunologic patterns in fibromyalgia. BMC Clin.Pathol. 12 (1):25-12, 2012.
This novel cytokine assay is now marketed by EpiGenetics as “FM/a®” and will cost approximately $740.
Not only is this test expensive but there was no evidence provided for FM specificity. Control experiments need to demonstrate whether cytokine levels of individuals with similar stress and distress are different from FM patients. Overall, the results are interesting because cytokine measurements may provide useful information about disease mechanisms of FM patient and may play a future role for monitoring treatment effects.
For more information, please contact us at the FM Research Lab at 352-265-8901 or a firstname.lastname@example.org