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Pain. 2016 Nov;157(11):2493-2503.

Increased cutaneous miR-let-7d expression correlates with small nerve fiber pathology in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.

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aDepartment of Neurology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany bPain Clinic Am Arkauwald, Bad Mergentheim, Germany cDepartment of Anesthesiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.


Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic widespread pain condition probably comprising subgroups with different underlying pathomechanisms. There is increasing evidence for small nerve fiber impairment in subgroups of patients with FMS. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate molecular factors determining nerve de- and re-generation. We investigated whether systemic and cutaneous miRNA expression in patients with FMS is related to small nerve fiber pathology. We confirmed previous findings of disturbed small fiber function and reduced intraepidermal nerve fiber density in subgroups of patients with FMS. We found 51 aberrantly expressed miRNAs in white blood cells of patients with FMS, of which miR-let-7d correlated with reduced small nerve fiber density in patients with FMS. Furthermore, we demonstrated miR-let-7d and its downstream target insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor as being aberrantly expressed in skin of patients with FMS with small nerve fiber impairment. Our study gives further evidence of small nerve fiber pathology in FMS subgroups and provides a missing link in the pathomechanism that may lead to small fiber loss in subgroups of patients with FMS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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