Immunologic abnormalities associated with chronic fatigue syndrome

Edward Barker, Sue F. Fujimura, Mitchell B. Fadem, Alan L. Landay, Jay A. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several aspects of cellular immunity in patients with clinically defined chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were evaluated and compared with those in healthy individuals. Flow cytometric analyses revealed normal expression of total T (CD3+), B (CD19+), and NK (natural killer) (CD16+, CD56+) markers on the surface of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMC) from patients with CFS. However, compared with those of healthy individuals, patients' CD8+ T cells expressed reduced levels of CD11b and expressed the activation markers CD38 and HLA-DR at elevated levels. In many of the individuals in whom expression of CD11b was reduced the expression of CD28 was increased. These findings indicate expansion of a population of activated CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes. A marked decrease in NK cell activity was found in almost all patients with CFS, as compared with that in healthy individuals. No substantial abnormalities in monocyte activity or T cell proliferation were observed. The results of this study suggest that immune cell phenotype changes and NK cell dysfunction are common manifestations of CFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S136-S141
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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