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CD4 T lymphocytes from patients with CFS have decreased interferon-gamma production & increased sensitivity to dexamethasone

  [ 23 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Visser J, Blauw B, Hinloopen B, Brommer E, de Kloet ER, Kluft C, Nagelkerken L • www.ProHealth.com • February 15, 1998


A disturbed hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland axis and
alterations at the immune system level have been observed in
patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Glucocorticoids
are known to modulate T cell responses; therefore, purified
CD4 T cells from CFS patients were studied to determine
whether they have an altered sensitivity to dexamethasone
(DEX). CD4 T cells from CFS patients produced less
interferon-gamma than did cells from controls; by contrast,
interleukin-4 production and cell proliferation were
comparable. With CD4 T cells from CFS patients (compared with
cells from controls), a 10- to 20-fold lower DEX concentration
was needed to achieve 50% inhibition of interleukin-4
production and proliferation, indicating an increased
sensitivity to DEX in CFS patients. Surprisingly,
interferon-gamma production in patients and controls was
equally sensitive to DEX. A differential sensitivity of
cytokines or CD4 T cell subsets to glucocorticoids might
explain an altered immunologic function in CFS patients.




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