Reduced immune system responsiveness in fibromyalgia - a pilot study

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Doi: 10.1016/j.clicom.2022.02.003



Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal and joint pain, stiffness, fatigue, and sleep and mood disorders. However, the involvement of the immune system in the pathways of fibromyalgia is unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the role of the immune system in comparison with healthy controls and in association with clinical symptoms. Thirteen women with fibromyalgia and 14 controls were included. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated and analysed by flow cytometry, and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukins were measured. Among clinical symptoms, the fibromyalgia group showed decreased cold pain threshold. Immunologically, they had a higher percentage of monocytes, a lower percentage of CD19+ B-cells, and lower secretion of IFN-γ after stimulation. Decreased capacity to secrete IFN-γ was significantly correlated with decreased cold pain threshold in the fibromyalgia group. These results confirm the presence of immune aberrations in fibromyalgia, at least partially responsible for the associated pain.