Med Hypotheses. 2004;62(5):759-65.
Nijs J, De Meirleir K, Meeus M, McGregor NR, Englebienne P.
Department of Human Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussel 1090, Belgium.
The exacerbation of symptoms after exercise differentiates Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) from several other fatigue-associated disorders. Research data point to an abnormal response to exercise in patients with CFS compared to healthy sedentary controls, and to an increasing amount of evidence pointing to severe intracellular immune deregulations in CFS patients.
This manuscript explores the hypothetical interactions between these two separately reported observations. First, it is explained that the deregulation of the 2-5A synthetase/RNase L pathway may be related to a channelopathy, capable of initiating both intracellular hypomagnesaemia in skeletal muscles and transient hypoglycemia. This might explain muscle weakness and the reduction of maximal oxygen uptake, as typically seen in CFS patients. Second, the activation of the protein kinase R enzyme, a characteristic feature in atleast subsets of CFS patients, might account for the observed excessive nitric oxide (NO) production in patients with CFS.
Elevated NO is known to induce vasidilation, which may limit CFS patients to increase blood flow during exercise, and may even cause and enhanced postexercise hypotension. Finally, it is explored how several types of infections, frequently identified in CFS patients, fit into these hypothetical pathophysiological interactions.
PMID: 15082102 [PubMed – in process]