Mast Cells, Neuroinflammation and Pain in Fibromyalgia Syndrome.Front Cell Neurosci 2019; 13:353FC
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a disorder of chronic, generalized muscular pain, accompanied by sleep disturbances, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. There is no definitive pathogenesis except for altered central pain pathways. We previously reported increased serum levels of the neuropeptides substance P (SP) and its structural analogue hemokinin-1 (HK-1) together with the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF in FMS patients as compared to sedentary controls. We hypothesize that thalamic mast cells contribute to inflammation and pain, by releasing neuro-sensitizing molecules that include histamine, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF, as well as calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP), HK-1 and SP. These molecules could either stimulate thalamic nociceptive neurons directly, or via stimulation of microglia in the diencephalon. As a result, inhibiting mast cell stimulation could be used as a novel approach for reducing pain and the symptoms of FMS.