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Cytokine production & fatigue in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & healthy control subjects in response to exercise

  [ 58 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • January 3, 1994

We have studied the relationship between the cytokine
production induced in vivo by prolonged isometric exercise and
the symptom complex marked by fatigue in patients with chronic
fatigue syndrome (CFS). Twelve male patients and 13 matched
male control subjects undertook an isometric hand-grip
exercise protocol utilizing dynamometers. Subjects undertook
30 minutes of exercise, for which the target force was set at
40% of the maximal voluntary contraction and the duty cycle
was 50%. Prior to, during, and for 24 hours following the
exercise, blood samples were collected and assayed for the
presence of cytokines, including interferon-gamma and
interferon-alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and tumor necrosis
factor-alpha. At those times subjects also completed the
Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire, which served as a
measure of changes in subjective fatigue. No significant
alteration in the level of any of the cytokines in the plasma
of patients or control subjects was detected before, during,
or after exercise. Surprisingly, the patients' levels of
fatigue, depression, and confusion, as measured by the POMS,
decreased in response to the exercise. These data do not
confirm the presence of an immunologic process correlating
with the exacerbation of fatigue after exercise experienced by
patients with CFS. Limitations in the study design and in the
sensitivity of the cytokine assays may have affected our

MCM: AR Lloyd also provides the Intro to Immunologic studies
p. S134 and (with Nancy Klimas) the Summary p. S160

Lloyd A,Gandevia S,Brockman A,Hales J,Wakefield D

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