“A fibromyalgia-induced young mouse model”

So I’ve been looking at a connection between cardiac issues and fibromyalgia. One of the articles I found (“Excessive exercise induces cardiac arrhythmia in a young fibromyalgia mouse model,” Nakata et al. PLoS ONE 15(9). September 30, 2020), discusses this, but what caught my eye was a phrase in the Background section of their abstract: “…the cardiac effects of a prolonged shallow water gait in a fibromyalgia-induced young mouse model.”

A “fibromyalgia-induced” mouse?

If they know how to induce fibromyalgia, isn’t that a key to figuring out how to get rid of fibromyalgia? Like, can’t they deconstruct, or reverse engineer fibromyalgia?

Apparently, if you do an intraperitoneal injection of reserpine several times, voila! Fibromyalgia. And don’t Google “intraperitoneal injection” because you get lots of pics of mice getting one. Makes me sad. But I do understand the need for animal testing – another topic altogether.

So I had to Google reserpine. It’s a high blood pressure medication and also used to treat mental disorders, severe agitation. It slows everything down. Slows the nervous system, relaxes blood vessels, slows the heart down.

And so frustration sets in. So many questions. If reserpine, which sounds like a perfectly good med, can induce fibro in mice, what does it do to people? Is there a correlation of any onset of chronic pain in patients taking it? Kind of like how some statins cause pain (my dad’s a case in point on that one – really bad leg aches, stopped taking the statins, got a triple bypass). What is in the reserpine that induces fibro in mice? Is it a chemical reaction in the brain that makes it happen?

I did a quick search of fibromyalgia and reserpine, and there are over 60 publications, most discussing a study about inducing fibro in mice. I think the earliest mention of the two together is 2009. So it’s pretty solid that physician-scientists can induce fibro in mice. This study isn’t a one-off. I’m going to have to see if I can figure out who started the whole fibro-induction thing. Seems like that would be a good place to start.