Altered Immune Pathway Activity under Exercise Challenge in Gulf War Illness: An Exploratory Analysis.
ABSTRACT Though potentially linked to the basic physiology of stress response we still have no clear understanding of Gulf War Illness (GWI), a debilitating illness presenting with a complex constellation of immune, endocrine and neurological symptoms. Here we compared male GWI (n=20) with healthy veterans (n=22) and subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) (n=7). Blood was drawn during a Graded eXercise Test (GXT) prior to exercise, at peak effort (VO2 max) and 4-hours post exercise. Affymetrix HG U133 plus 2.0 microarray gene expression profiling in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was used to estimate activation of over 500 documented pathways. This was cast against ELISA-based measurement of 16 cytokines in plasma and flow cytometric assessment of lymphocyte populations and cytotoxicity. A 2-way ANOVA corrected for multiple comparisons (q statistic <0.05) indicated significant increases in neuroendocrine-immune signaling and inflammatory activity in GWI, with decreased apoptotic signaling. Conversely, cell cycle progression and immune signaling were broadly subdued in CFS. Partial correlation networks linking pathways with symptom severity via changes in immune cell abundance, function and signaling were constructed. Central to these were changes in IL-10 and CD2+ cell abundance and their link to two pathway clusters. The first consisted of pathways supporting neuronal development and migration whereas the second was related to androgen-mediated activation of NF-κB. These exploratory results suggest an over-expression of known exercise response mechanisms as well as illness-specific changes that may involve an overlapping stress-potentiated neuro-inflammatory response.
SourceAvailable from: Jessica Van Oosterwijck[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: An increasing number of studies have examined how the immune system of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis, responds to exercise. The objective of the present study was to systematically review the scientific literature addressing exercise-induced immunological changes in CFS patients compared to healthy control subjects. A systematic literature search was conducted in the PubMed and Web of science databases using different keyword combinations. We included 23 case control studies that examined whether CFS patients, compared to healthy sedentary controls, have a different immune response to exercise. The included articles were evaluated on their methodological quality. Compared to the normal response of the immune system to exercise as seen in healthy subjects, patients with CFS have a more pronounced response in the complement system (i.e. C4a split product levels), oxidative stress system (i.e. enhanced oxidative stress combined with a delayed and reduced anti-oxidant response), and an alteration in the immune cells' gene expression profile (increases in post-exercise interleukin-10 and toll-like receptor 4 gene expression), but not in circulating pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines. Many of these immune changes relate to post-exertional malaise in CFS, a major characteristic of the illness. The literature review provides level B evidence for an altered immune response to exercise in patients with CFS.Exercise immunology review 01/2014; 20:94-116. · 9.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic studies have implicated wartime exposures to acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-inhibiting chemicals as etiologic factors in Gulf War illness (GWI), the multisymptom condition linked to military service in the 1991 Gulf War. It is unclear, however, why some veterans developed GWI while others with similar exposures did not. Genetic variants of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) differ in their capacity for metabolizing AChE-inhibiting chemicals, and may confer differences in biological responses to these compounds. The current study assessed BChE enzyme activity and BChE genotype in 1991 Gulf War veterans to evaluate possible association of this enzyme with GWI. This case-control study evaluated a population-based sample of 304 Gulf War veterans (144 GWI cases, meeting Kansas GWI criteria, and 160 controls). BChE enzyme activity levels and genotype were compared, overall, in GWI cases and controls. Potential differences in risk associated with cholinergic-related exposures in theater were explored using stratified analyses to compare associations between GWI and exposures in BChE genetic and enzyme activity subgroups. Overall, GWI cases and controls did not differ by mean BChE enzyme activity level or by BChE genotype. However, for the subgroup of Gulf War veterans with less common, generally less active, BChE genotypes (K/K, U/AK, U/A, A/F, AK/F), the association of wartime use of pyridostigmine bromide (PB) with GWI (OR = 40.00, p = 0.0005) was significantly greater than for veterans with the more common U/U and U/K genotypes (OR = 2.68, p = 0.0001). Study results provide preliminary evidence that military personnel with certain BChE genotypes who used PB during the 1991 Gulf War may have been at particularly high risk for developing GWI. Genetic differences in response to wartime exposures are potentially important factors in GWI etiology and should be further evaluated in conjunction with exposure effects.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We sought to assess whether coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) benefits the chronic multisymptom problems that affect one-quarter to one-third of 1990-1 Gulf War veterans, using a randomized, double-blink, placebo-controlled study. Participants were 46 veterans meeting Kansas and Centers for Disease Control criteria for Gulf War illness. Intervention was PharmaNord (Denmark) CoQ10 100 mg per day (Q100), 300 mg per day (Q300), or an identical-appearing placebo for 3.5 ± 0.5 months. General self-rated health (GSRH), the primary outcome, differed across randomization arms at baseline, and sex significantly predicted GSRH change, compelling adjustment for baseline GSRH and prompting sex-stratified analysis. GSRH showed no significant benefit in the combined-sex sample. Among males (85% of participants), Q100 significantly benefited GSRH versus placebo and versus Q300, providing emphasis on Q100. Physical function (summary performance score, SPS) improved on Q100 versus placebo, A rise in CoQ10 approached significance as a predictor of improvement in GSRH and significantly predicted SPS improvement. Among 20 symptoms each present in half or more of the enrolled veterans, direction-of-difference on Q100 versus placebo was favorable for all except sleep problems; sign test 19:1, p=0.00004) with several symptoms individually significant. Significance for these symptoms despite the small sample underscores large effect sizes, and an apparent relation of key outcomes to CoQ10 change increases prospects for causality. In conclusion, Q100 conferred benefit to physical function and symptoms in veterans with Gulf War illness. Examination in a larger sample is warranted, and findings from this study can inform the conduct of a larger trial.Neural Computation 08/2014; 26(11):1-58. DOI:10.1162/NECO_a_00659 · 1.69 Impact Factor