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Hormonal influences on stress-induced neutrophil mobilization in health & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

  [ 22 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Cannon JG, Angel JB, Abad LW, O'Grady J, Lundgren N, Fagioli L,Komaroff AL • • July 2, 1998

This investigation tested the hypotheses that women diagnosed
with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) would exhibit
significantly greater systemic indices of exercise-induced
leukocyte mobilization and inflammation (neutrophilia,
lactoferrin release, complement activation) than controls
matched for age, weight, and habitual activity and that
responses in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle would be
greater than in the follicular phase. Subjects stepped up and
down on a platform adjusted to the height of the patella for
15 min, paced by metronome. Blood samples were collected under
basal conditions (the day before exercise) and following
exercise for determination of circulating neutrophils and
plasma concentrations of lactoferrin, C3a des arg, and
creatine kinase. Complete, 24-hr urine collections were made
for determination of cortisol excretion.

For all subjects, circulating neutrophil counts increased 33% (P < 0.0001)
and lactoferrin increased 27% (P = 0.0006) after exercise, whereas
plasma C3a des arg and creatine kinase did not increase. No
indication of an exaggerated or excessive response was
observed in the CFS patients compared to the controls. In
healthy women, circulating neutrophil numbers exhibited
previously described relationships with physiological
variables: basal neutrophil counts correlated with plasma
progesterone concentrations (R = 0.726, P = 0.003) and the
exercise-induced neutrophilia correlated with both urinary
cortisol (R = 0.660, P = 0.007) and plasma creatine kinase (R
= 0.523, P = 0.038) concentrations. These relationships were
not observed in the CFS patients (R = 0.240, P = 0.370; R =
0.042, P = 0.892; and R = 0.293, P = 0.270; respectively).
These results suggest that normal endocrine influences on the
circulating neutrophil pool may be disrupted in patients with

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