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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Oral Tolerance

  [ 25 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • June 20, 2002

C H Little,  324 Stephensons Road, Mt Waverley, Victoria, 3149, Australia

Tel: (61) 3 9888 1345; Fax: (61) 3 9888 1369

A subgroup of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome report adverse reactions to foods. Such reactions are not mediated by IgE antibody or cellular immunity. Our laboratory has identified a separate class of immune products (T cell antigen binding molecules or TABM), which may be the basis for these reactions. Data from studies on patients tolerant to cow's milk is presented as being representative of our findings. Research in recent years indicates that an appropriate immune response to ingested food proteins is an absence of both TH1 and TH2 immune responses.

This outcome (i.e., no response) may depend on antigen-specific regulatory cells whose function is to maintain tolerance to food proteins. The presence or absence of an immune response (and regulatory cells) depends critically on signals delivered by specialised antigen-presenting cells (dendritic cells). This signalling process can be potentially disrupted by environmental influences. This model is discussed in some detail with examples.

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