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Low-grade inflammation and chronic pain

Low-grade inflammation is thought to play a role in the pathophysiology of chronic pain conditions. This is the reason why increasing numbers of pain physicians use the anti-inflammatory compound palmitoylethanolamide.

Previous human plasma/serum and/or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytokine studies have only looked at a few predetermined cytokine candidates.

The aim of a number of researchers from Scandinavia was to review results from a series of recent studies that measured 92 inflammation-related proteins in chronic pain.

Human pain studies using the Proseek® Multiplex Inflammation I panel (Olink Bioscience, Uppsala, Sweden) were reviewed. The studies were by Moen et al on chronic radicular pain (Int J Inflam 2016), Bäckryd & Tanum et al on fibromyalgia (J Pain Res 2017), Gerdle et al on chronic widespread pain (Medicine 2017), and Bäckryd et al on peripheral post-traumatic neuropathic pain (manuscript, February 2017).

The researchers found a high degree of overlap across different pain conditions and across biofluids (blood/CSF).
Notably, LAPTGF-beta-1 was differentially expressed in all studied pain conditions, in both plasma/serum and in CSF. Another finding was that, using two different control groups, SIRT2, AXIN1, 4E-BP1, STAMBP, and CASP-8 were major findings in plasma from both fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain patients.

The conclusion was:

Recent human “inflammatory fingerprint” studies confirm the presence of chronic inflammation. On-going low-grade inflammation may play a role in pain hypersensitivity and spread of pain, as well as concerning the “sickness syndrome” often reported by pain patients.

P05-BASIC SCIENCE (ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, PHARMACOLOGY, BEHAVIOUR): CENTRAL ​​SENSITIZATION
Abstract: 328
INCREASING EVIDENCE OF LOW-GRADE INFLAMMATION IN CHRONIC PAIN – A REVIEW OF RECENT RESULTS FROM HUMAN MULTIPLEX PROTEIN PANEL STUDIES
E. Bäckryd1, B. Gerdle1, J. Gjerstad2, T. Gordh3
1Linköping University, IMH, Linköping, Sweden
2University of Oslo, Molecular Biosciences, Oslo, Norway
3Uppsala university, Surgical sciences, Uppsala, Sweden