In an investigator-blinded study, adherent (monocytes) and non-adherent cells (lymphocytes) from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were examined on two separate occasions (when feeling and when feeling ) for in vitro spontaneous, phytohemagglutinin- (PHA, for lymphocytes), and lipopolysaccharide- (LPS, for monocytes) induced production of IL-6 by ELISA assay. A group of CFS patients and controls were also subjected to exercise-induced fatigue () and IL-6 production was compared, in a double-blinded manner, prior to and following induction of fatigue. A significant increase in spontaneous, PHA- and LPS-induced IL-6 secretion by both lymphocytes and monocytes was observed in CFS patients during as compared to during state. However, no such changes in IL-6 production were observed during. These data suggest a role of IL-6 in natural symptomatology and perhaps in the pathogenesis of CFS. In addition, the data demonstrate that laboratory-induced fatigue (experimental fatigue) may not be a good model to study immunological changes in CFS; immunological parameters should be studied in a longitudinal manner during the natural course of the disease.
Gupta S, Aggarwal S, Starr A