First Report That Interleukin-17A Levels Are Increased In Fibromyalgia Patients


A recent study by Andrei Pernambuco and colleagues from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil is perhaps the first to document increased plas­ma levels of interleukin (IL)-17A in fibromyalgia (FM) patients.

Interleukin-17 and the T helper (Th)-17 cells play a key role in tissue inflammation and host defense and, recently, the Th17-pathway has been implicated in numerous inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The concept that FM is an inflammatory state is not generally accepted. However, a recent systematic review of 25 selected articles reveals that FM patients have high serum levels of IL-1 receptor antagonist, IL-6 and IL-8 (Uçeyler N et al., BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 2011, 12:24).

In the study from Brazil, involving 58 wom­en with FM, high plasma levels of IL-17 correlated positively with the levels of IL-2, TNF and IFN-γ, thus suggesting the involvement of in­flammatory mechanisms in the devel­opment of this syndrome.

Interestingly, according to the authors, previous research, in other clinical condi­tions, indicates that IL-17A positively correlates with indices of pain, depression and anxiety, which are symp­toms frequently reported by patients with FM.

The study may provide some new insights into the pathogenesis of FM, and may suggest an anti-inflammatory approach and/or new therapeutic target(s) for this common condition and syndrome.

Source: Clin Exp Rheumatol, 2013 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]

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