Article

Experimental evaluation of an altered tryptophan metabolism in fibromyalgia.

Psychiatric Hospital, University of Munich, Nussbaumstr. 7, D - 80336 Munich, Germany.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology (Impact Factor: 1.83). 02/2003; 527:265-75.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fibromyalgia (FM) is a prevalent syndrome with chronic pain and a hypothesised underlying disturbance of the tryptophan (TRP) metabolism. We performed a tryptophan depletion (TD) test in 17 FM patients and 17 controls. TRP, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), kynurenine (KYN), and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured. Additionally pain perception was monitored in the FM patients. FM patients and controls exhibited a decrease of TRP and KYN during TD. 5-HIAA levels also decreased in all controls and in 11 FM patients, but showed a marked increase in 6 FM patients. IL-6 significantly increased during TD in the patients, but not in the controls. Pain perception was not affected in the FM patients. These data demonstrate an altered TRP metabolism in a subgroup of FM patients, where the TD seems to activate 5-HT metabolism and IL-6 production. Our findings may have diagnostic as well as therapeutic implications in the field of fibromyalgia.

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