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Immunologic parameters in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), major depression, & multiple sclerosis

  [ 126 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Natelson BH, LaManca JJ, Denny TN, Vladutiu A, Oleske J, Hill N, Bergen MT, Korn L, Hay J • www.ProHealth.com • September 28, 1998


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immune
dysfunction hypothesis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) by
comparing immunologic data from patients with CFS with data
from patients with other fatiguing illnesses--major depression
and multiple sclerosis (MS)--and with data from healthy
sedentary controls. The subjects were 65 healthy sedentary
controls, 71 CFS patients (41 with no axis-I diagnosis), 23
patients with mild MS, and 21 patients with major depression.
Blood was sampled and assayed for the following: (1)
immunologic serologic variables--circulating immune complexes
(i.e., Raji cell and C1q binding), immunoglobulins A, E, G,
and M, and IgG subclasses; (2) cell surface activation
markers--the proportion of CD4+ cells expressing CD45RA+ and
CD45RO+ and the proportion of CD8+ cells expressing CD38+,
CD11b-, HLA-DR+ and CD28+; and (3) natural killer (NK) total
cell count as well as the proportion of lymphocytes expressing
NK cell surface markers (i.e., CD3-/CD16+ and CD56+. Of the 18
variables studied, differences between CFS patients and
controls were found only for IgG1 and IgG3. When CFS patients
were stratified by the presence or absence of concurrent
axis-I disease, it was the group with axis-I disorder that had
the lowest IgG1 values-contrary to expectation. When data from
patients with MS and major depression were also evaluated, the
subclass deficiency was no longer significant. The one group
to show evidence for immune activation (i.e., an elevated
proportion of CD4+ cells expressing the CD45RA+ activation
marker) was the group with mild MS. These data support neither
immune dysfunction nor immune activation in CFS or in major
depression, for the variables studied. The reductions in IgG
subclasses may be an epiphenomenon of patient or control
subject composition. In contrast, MS, even in the mild and
early stages, as in the patients studied here, is associated
with immune activation.




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