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Journal Article

Distinct cholinomiR blood cell signature as a potential modulator of the cholinergic system in women with fibromyalgia syndrome

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Erbacher, C., Vaknine, S., Moshitzky, G., Lobentanzer, S., Eisenberg, L., Evdokimov, D., et al. (2022). Distinct cholinomiR blood cell signature as a potential modulator of the cholinergic system in women with fibromyalgia syndrome. Cells, 11(8): 1276. doi:10.3390/cells11081276.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-9C4A-1
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a heterogeneous chronic pain syndrome characterized by musculoskeletal pain and other key co-morbidities including fatigue and a depressed mood. FMS involves altered functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system (CNS, PNS) and immune system, but the specific molecular pathophysiology remains unclear. Anti-cholinergic treatment is effective in FMS patient subgroups, and cholinergic signaling is a strong modulator of CNS and PNS immune processes. Therefore, we used whole blood small RNA-sequencing of female FMS patients and healthy controls to profile microRNA regulators of cholinergic transcripts (CholinomiRs). We compared microRNA profiles with those from Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with pain as disease controls. We validated the sequencing results with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and identified cholinergic targets. Further, we measured serum cholinesterase activity in FMS patients and healthy controls. Small RNA-sequencing revealed FMS-specific changes in 19 CholinomiRs compared to healthy controls and PD patients. qRT-PCR validated miR-182-5p upregulation, distinguishing FMS patients from healthy controls. mRNA targets of CholinomiRs bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 and interleukin 6 signal transducer were downregulated. Serum acetylcholinesterase levels and cholinesterase activity in FMS patients were unchanged. Our findings identified an FMS-specific CholinomiR signature in whole blood, modulating immune-related gene expression.