Immune Markers Distinguish CFS/ME Patients from Healthy Controls

Researchers at Bond University in Australia teamed with long-time CFS researcher and immunologist Nancy Klimas of the University of Miami to study the immune profiles of 95 CFS/ME patients compared to 50 healthy controls. Subjects were recruited from practices in Queensland and New South Wales. Blood samples were collected at one point in time, at rest. Compared to healthy individuals, CFS/ME patients displayed significant increases in IL-10, IFN-γ, TNF-α, CD4+CD25+ T cells, FoxP3 and VPACR2 expression. The cell-killing activity of specific immune cells was significantly decreased in patients compared to controls. Expression of two proteins that cells used to control viruses, granzymes A and K, were reduced, while expression levels of perforin were significantly increased in the CFS/ME population relative to the control population. Perforin is released by immune cells to kill other cells. The authors state that, “These results illustrate a severely compromised immunomodulation mechanism in CFS/ME where attempts to regulate or restore immune homeostasis appear to be impaired.” (Journal of Translational Medicine, May 28, 2011)

Tags: , May 28, 2011