Natural killer cells & natural killer cell activity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is associated with insidious and

persistent immunologic abnormalities that have proved

difficult to reproduce. The heterogeneity of CFS, the variable

quality of immunologic assays and their performance, along

with an almost complete absence of longitudinal studies of

cellular immune abnormalities in CFS may explain this

difficulty. However, in a significant proportion of cases, low

levels of natural killer (NK) cell activity have been

reported. This article will explore the mechanisms responsible

for low NK cell activity, discuss the relation between levels

of NK cell activity and health/disease, describe new findings

on NK cell-brain interactions, and put forth a specific

hypothesis for the role of NK cells in the pathogenesis of


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