Cytokine profiles of women with vulvodynia: Identification of a panel of pro-inflammatory molecular targets

Nunzia Zanotta, Giuseppina Campisciano, Federica Scrimin, Ura Blendi, Annalisa Marcuzzi, Ezio Vincenti, Sergio Crovella, Manola Comar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The vulvar pain syndrome (VPS) is a multifactorial disease severely influencing the lifestyle of affected women. Among possible etiological factors, local injury, peripheral and/or central sensitization of the nervous system, and a chronic inflammatory status have been positively associated with the development of VPS. The identification of a constitutive altered local inflammatory profile in VPS women may represent an important point in the characterization of patients’ phenotype as a useful marker influencing the vulvar micro-environment. The aim of this study was to investigative the possible role of the local cytokines production in women with VPS in comparison to healthy women. Study design: In this study were collected vaginal swabs from 57 healthy women (HC) who never suffered from VPS and from 30 patients diagnosed with vulvodynia (VPS) by at least 3 years and currently symptomatic. All patients included in this study showed the absence of Sexually Transmitted (STD) diseases and Reproductive Tract Infection. Real-time PCR was performed to assess the genomic sequences of ST pathogens. The Luminex Bio-Plex platform was used for the analysis of a panel of 48 immune factors. Results: Eleven molecules, specifically involved in the pro-inflammatory pathway were significantly modulated in VPS patients in comparison to healthy women, suggesting a persistent inflammatory process. Conclusions: Therefore, these inflammatory factors could be possible biological markers involved in this disease. Nevertheless, other studies are needed to consider this specific immune profile as a valid marker of the vulvodynia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation
  • Local pain
  • Vulvodynia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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