Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biological Link Between Pain And Fatigue Discovered

Date:
April 9, 2008
Source:
University of Iowa
Summary:
A recent study reveals a biological link between pain and fatigue and may help explain why more women than men are diagnosed with chronic pain and fatigue conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Image of nerve endings in mouse muscle shows that ASIC3 (red) is present in pain receptors (orange).
Credit: Masahiko Ikeuchi M.D., Ph.D., UI visiting scientist from University of Kochi in Kochi, Japan

A recent University of Iowa study reveals a biological link between pain and fatigue and may help explain why more women than men are diagnosed with chronic pain and fatigue conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Related Articles


Working with mice, the researchers, led by Kathleen Sluka, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, found that a protein involved in muscle pain works in conjunction with the male hormone testosterone to protect against muscle fatigue.

Chronic pain and fatigue often occur together -- as many as three in four people with chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain report having fatigue; and as many as 94 percent of people with chronic fatigue syndromes report muscle pain. Women make up the majority of patients with these conditions.

To probe the link between pain and fatigue, and the influence of sex, the UI team compared exercise-induced muscle fatigue in male and female mice with and without ASIC3 -- an acid-activated ion channel protein that the team has shown to be involved in musculoskeletal pain.

A task involving three one-hour runs produced different levels of fatigue in the different groups of mice as measured by the temporary loss of muscle strength caused by the exercise.

Male mice with ASIC3 were less fatigued by the task than female mice. However, male mice without the ASIC3 protein showed levels of fatigue that were similar to the female mice and were greater than for the normal males.

In addition, when female mice with ASIC3 were given testosterone, their muscles became as resistant to fatigue as the normal male mice. In contrast, the muscle strength of female mice without the protein was not boosted by testosterone.

"The differences in fatigue between males and females depends on both the presence of testosterone and the activation of ASIC3 channels, which suggests that they are interacting somehow to protect against fatigue," Sluka said. "These differences may help explain some of the underlying differences we see in chronic pain conditions that include fatigue with respect to the predominance of women over men."

The study, which was published in the Feb. 28 issue of the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, indicates that muscle pain and fatigue are not independent conditions and may share a common pathway that is disrupted in chronic muscle pain conditions. The team plans to continue their studies and investigate whether pain enhances fatigue more in females than males.

"Our long-term goal is to come up with better treatments for chronic musculoskeletal pain," Sluka said. "But the fatigue that is typically associated with chronic, widespread pain is also a big clinical problem -- it leaves people unable to work or engage in social activities. If we could find a way to reduce fatigue, we could really improve quality of life for these patients."

In addition to Sluka, the UI research team included Lynn Burnes, a research assistant and lead author of the study; Sandra Kolker; Jing Danielson; and Roxanne Walder. The study was funded in part by grants from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Iowa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Iowa. "Biological Link Between Pain And Fatigue Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407153037.htm>.
University of Iowa. (2008, April 9). Biological Link Between Pain And Fatigue Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407153037.htm
University of Iowa. "Biological Link Between Pain And Fatigue Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407153037.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins