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By Sharni Lee Hardcastle et al.
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Immunological dysregulation is present in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), with recent studies also highlighting the importance of examining symptom severity. This research addressed this relationship between CFS/ME severity subgroups, assessing serum immunoglobulins and serum cytokines in severe and moderate CFS/ME patients.
Participants included healthy controls (n= 22), moderately (n = 22) and severely (n=19) affected CFS/ME patients. The 1994 Fukuda Criteria defined CFS/ME and severity scales confirmed mobile and housebound CFS/ME patients as moderate and severe respectively.
IL-1B was significantly reduced in severe compared with moderate CFS/ME patients. IL-6 was significantly decreased in moderate CFS/ME patients compared with healthy controls and severe CFS/ME patients. RANTES was significantly increased in moderate CFS/ME patients compared to severe CFS/ME patients. Serum IL-7 and IL-8 were significantly higher in the severe CFS/ME group compared with healthy controls and moderate CFS/ME patients. IFN-gamma was significantly increased in severe CFS/ME patients compared with moderately affected patients.
This was the first study to show cytokine variation in moderate and severe CFS/ME patients, with significant differences shown between CFS/ME symptom severity groups. This research suggests that distinguishing severity subgroups in CFS/ME research settings may allow for a more stringent analysis of the heterogeneous and otherwise inconsistent illness.
Source: Sharni Lee Hardcastle, Ekua Weba Brenu, Samantha Johnston, Thao Nguyen, Teilah Huth, Sandra Ramos, Donald Staines, and Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik. Serum Immune Proteins in Moderate and Severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Patients. Int J Med Sci. 2015; 12(10): 764–772. Published online 2015 Sep 5. doi: 10.7150/ijms.12399. PMCID: PMC4615236