Fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) is a multifactorial disorder whose pathogenesis and diagnosis are poorly understood. This study investigated differential serum proteome profiles in patients with FM and healthy pain-free controls and explored the association between serum proteome and clinical profiles in patients with FM. Twenty patients with FM (according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, 2010) and 20 healthy pain-free controls were recruited for optimized quantitative serum proteomics analysis. The levels of pain, pressure pain threshold, sleep, anxiety, depression, and functional status were evaluated for patients with FM. We identified 22 proteins differentially expressed in FM when compared with healthy pain-free controls and propose a panel of methyltransferase-like 18 (METTL18), immunoglobulin lambda variable 3–25 (IGLV3–25), interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein (IL1RAP), and IGHV1OR21-1 for differentiating FM from controls by using a decision tree model (accuracy: 0.97). In addition, we noted several proteins involved in coagulation and inflammation pathways with distinct expression patterns in patients with FM. Novel proteins were also observed to be correlated with the levels of pain, depression, and dysautonomia in patients with FM. We suggest that upregulated inflammation can play a major role in the pathomechanism of FM. The differentially expressed proteins identified may serve as useful biomarkers for diagnosis and evaluation of FM in the future.
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