Temporarily increased TGFβ following radon spa correlates with reduced pain while serum IL-18 is a general predictive marker for pain sensitivity

Authors: Kullmann M (1) , Rühle RF (1) , Harrer A (1) , Donaubauer A (1) , Becker I (1) , Sieber R (1) , Klein G (2) , Fournier C (3) , Fietkau R (1) , Gaipl US (1) , Frey B (1)
(1) Department of Radiation Oncology, Radiation Immunobiology, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Universitätsstr (2) Practice for Cardiology, Bad Steben (3) GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Darmstadt
Source: Radiat Environ Biophys.
DOI: 10.1007/s00411-018-0768-z Publication date: Not specified E-Publication date: 2019 Mar Availability: abstract Copyright: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
Language: English Countries: Not specified Location: Not specified Correspondence address: udo.gaipl@uk-erlangen.de


Article abstract

Sustained pain relief following radon spa therapy in patients suffering from chronic painful diseases has been well described. But still, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We conducted the prospective and explorative RAD-ON01 study which included 103 patients who suffered from chronic painful musculoskeletal disorders of the spine and/or joints and present here the data of the examination of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the serum of the patients before and at weeks 6, 12 and 30 after therapy. While TNFα, IL-1β, IFNγ, IL-1Ra and IL-10 were not altered, TGFβ was temporarily significantly (p = 0.013) elevated 6 weeks after therapy. Importantly, this elevation positively correlated with lowered pain sensitivity (r = 0.41). Further, the amount of IL-18 in the serum positively correlated with lowered pain sensitivity. Therefore, IL-18 can be considered as predictive marker for pain sensitivity of radon spa patients. We conclude that alterations in TGFβ and general IL-18 levels in serum have prognostic and predictive value in situations of lowered pain by exposure of patients to very low-doses of radiation as it is the case in radon spa.

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