Funda Canpolat KUTU1, Şenay ÖZDOLAP2, Selda SARIKAYA2

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Çaycuma State Hospital, Zonguldak, Turkey
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medicine Faculty of Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak, Turkey

Keywords: Cytokines, fibromyalgia, oxidative stress, oxidized-low-density lipoprotein, pain


Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the differences in serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), (IL-8), and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) between female fibromyalgia (FM) patients and healthy females and also to examine a possible relationship between the cytokines/biomarker and the severity of pain and clinical features of FM.
Patients and methods: This case-control study included 48 female patients (mean age 26.51±6.98 years; range, 18 to 50 years) who were diagnosed with FM according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria and 43 healthy female subjects (mean age 23.93±4.22 years; range, 18 to 50 years). Serum levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, and Ox-LDL were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in both groups. Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Visual Analog Scale, symptom severity scale, and widespread pain index were carried out and also their relationships with TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, and Ox-LDL levels were evaluated.
Results: There was no difference in levels of the serum TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, and Ox-LDL between FM patients and healthy controls (p>0.05). The severity of pain was significantly associated with TNF-α (r=0.338; p=0.021) and IL-8 (r=0.299; p=0.043) levels, and Ox-LDL (r=0.415; p=0.006) level was found to be related to symptom severity of FM.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that serum levels of TNF-α and IL-8 may be involved in the occurrence of pain in FM. The level of Ox-LDL may play an important role in the severity of symptoms. Future studies are needed to determine whether and how Ox-LDL plays a role in FM.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

This study was supported by Bulent Ecevit University Scientific Research Fund (Project Number: 2013- 93733444-01).


The authors would like to thank Dr. İshak Özel Tekin MD for his precious dedication and care in the studies of tumor necrosis factor-alpha-blocker and oxidized low- density lipoprotein and to Ça¤atay Büyükuysal, Ph.D. and Füruzan Köktürk, Ph.D. for their contributions in the statistical analyses of the data.