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Neuroendocrine and immune network re-modeling in chronic fatigue syndrome: An exploratory analysis – Source: Genomics, Sep 4, 2008

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By Jim Fuite, Suzanne D. Vernon, Gordon Broderick • • September 10, 2008

This work investigates the significance of changes in association patterns linking indicators of neuroendocrine and immune activity in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Gene sets preferentially expressed in specific immune cell isolates were integrated with neuroendocrine data from a large population-based study.

Co-expression patterns linking immune cell activity with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), thyroidal (HPT) and gonadal (HPG) axis status were computed using mutual information criteria.

Networks in control and CFS subjects were compared globally in terms of a weighted graph edit distance. Local re-modeling of node connectivity was quantified by node degree and eigenvector centrality measures.

Results indicate statistically significant differences between CFS and control networks determined mainly by re-modeling around pituitary and thyroid nodes as well as an emergent immune sub-network.

Findings align with known mechanisms of chronic inflammation and support possible immune-mediated loss of thyroid function in CFS exacerbated by blunted HPA axis responsiveness.

Source: Genomics, Sep 4, 2008. [E-pub ahead of print]. PMID: 18775774, by Fuite J, Vernon SD, Broderick G. The Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dystunction Syndromes (CFIDS) Association of America, Charlotte, NC, USA (Dr. Vernon); Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry University of Alberta; Walter Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. [E-mail:]

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