The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are consistent with cytokine dysregulation. [Cytokines are cell-to-cell 'signaling molecules' secreted by immune cells.] This has led to the hypothesis of immune dysregulation as the cause of this illness.
To further test this hypothesis, we did repeated blood sampling for cytokines while patients and matched healthy controls slept in the sleep lab.
Because no one method for assaying cytokines is acknowledged to be better than another, we assayed for protein in serum, message in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and function in resting and stimulated PBLs
• We found no evidence of pro-inflammatory cytokine upregulation.
• Instead, in line with some of our earlier studies, we did find some evidence to support a role for an increase in IL-10 (Interleukin-10), an anti-inflammatory cytokine.
Although the changes were small, they may contribute to the common complaint of CFS patients of disrupted sleep.
Source: Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, Feb 24, 2010;03-11. PMID: 20181767 Nakamura T, Schwander SK, Donnelly R, Ortega F, Togo F, Broderick G, Yamamoto Y, Cherniack NS, Rapoport D, Natelson BH. Pain & Fatigue Study Center, and Departments of Neurosciences and Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark NJ; Department of Work Stress Control, Japan National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Kawasaki, Japan; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Educational Physiology Laboratory, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo; Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA. [Email: email@example.com]