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Background: At present, there are no clinically reliable disease markers for chronic fatigue syndrome. DNA chip microarray technology provides a method for examining the differential expression of mRNA from a large number of genes. The hypothesis was that a gene expression signature, generated by microarray assays, could help identify genes which are dysregulated in patients with CFS and so provide biomarkers for the condition.
Methods: Human genome-wide Affymetrix GeneChip arrays (39,000 transcripts derived from 33,000 gene sequences) were used to compare the levels of gene expression in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with post-viral chronic fatigue (n=8) and healthy control subjects (n=7).
Results: Patients and healthy subjects differed significantly in the level of expression of 366 genes. Analysis of the differentially expressed genes indicated functional implications in immune modulation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. Prototype biomarkers were identified on the basis of differential levels of gene expression and possible biological significance
Conclusions: Differential expression of key genes identified in this study offer an insight into the possible mechanism of chronic fatigue following infection. The representative biomarkers identified in this research appear promising as potential biomarkers for differential diagnosis and treatment.
Source: BMC Medical Genomics, June 25, 2009;2(38). DOI: 10.1186/1755-8794-2-38. Gow JW, Hagan S, Herzyk P, Cannon C, Behan PO, Chaudhuri A. Dept. of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University; The Sir Henry Wellcome Functional Genomics Facility, Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow; Glasgow Veterinary School, University of Glasgow; Essex Centre for Neurological Sciences, Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, UK. [E-mail: John W Gow firstname.lastname@example.org]