Identification of MOR-positive B cell as possible innovative biomarker (Mu lympho-marker) for chronic pain diagnosis in patients with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis diseases

William Raffaeli, Valentina Malafoglia, Antonello Bonci, Michael Tenti, Sara Ilari, Paola Gremigni, Cristina Iannuccelli, Chiara Gioia, Manuela Di Franco, Vincenzo Mollace, Laura Vitiello, Carlo Tomino, Carolina Muscoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fibromyalgia (FM) diagnosis follows the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, based on clinical evaluation and written questionnaires without any objective diagnostic tool. The lack of specific biomarkers is a tragic aspect for FM and chronic pain diseases in general. Interestingly, the endogenous opioid system is close to the immune one because of the expression of opioid receptors on lymphocytes membrane. Here we analyzed the role of the Mu opioid receptor on B lymphocytes as a specific biomarker for FM and osteoarthritis (OA) patients. We enrolled three groups of females: FM patients, OA patients (chronic pain control group) and healthy subjects (pain-free negative control group). We collected blood samples to apply immunophenotyping analysis. Written tests were administrated for psychological analysis. Data were statistically analyzed. Final results showed that the percentage of Mu-positive B cells were statistically lower in FM and OA patients than in pain-free subjects. A low expression of Mu-positive B cell was not associated with the psychological characteristics investigated. In conclusion, here we propose the percentage of Mu-positive B cells as a biological marker for an objective diagnosis of chronic pain suffering patients, also contributing to the legitimacy of FM as a truly painful disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1499
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2020

Keywords

  • Chronic pain biomarkers
  • Chronic pain diagnosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lymphocytes
  • Opioid receptors
  • Osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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