Certain Immune Cells in Brain May Boost Inflammatory TNF in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Reports

Certain Immune Cells in Brain May Boost Inflammatory TNF in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Reports
A specific type of human-induced immune cell derived from patients with fibromyalgia is hyper-responsive, resulting in increased levels of a known pro-inflammatory factor thought to be linked to pain intensity, depression and anxiety, and decreased quality of life, according to a new study. The study titled "Fibromyalgia and microglial TNF-α: Translational research using human blood induced microglia-like cells" was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports. Previous studies have shown that patients with fibromyalgia are hyper-responsive to stimuli compared to healthy persons. Additionally, immune cells and inflammatory cytokines (specific molecules that signal to neighboring cells) are thought to be involved in the symptoms associated with the disease. Microglial cells are specific immune cells that function in the brain. They are known to release cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β. Activation of these cells is thought to be a potential underlying cause of chronic pain. However, research in this area has been slow due to technical and ethical limitations regarding work with human microglial cells. To overcome these restrictions, a research group from Japan developed a method to create human-induced microglial-like (iMG) cells from human peripheral blood monocytes (a type of white blood cell). After collecting the peripheral blood, the researchers apply two cytokines — IL-34 and gran
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