ABSTRACT: Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a multisystem disease, the pathogenesis of which remains undetermined. The authors have recently reported a study of gene expression that identified differential expression of 88 human genes in patients with CFS/ME. Clustering of quantitative PCR (qPCR) data from patients with CFS/ME revealed seven distinct subtypes with distinct differences in Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 scores, clinical phenotypes and severity.
In this study, for each CFS/ME subtype, those genes whose expression differed significantly from that of normal blood donors were identified, and then gene interactions, disease associations and molecular and cellular functions of those gene sets were determined. Genomic analysis was then related to clinical data for each CFS/ME subtype.
Genomic analysis revealed some common (neurological, haematological, cancer) and some distinct (metabolic, endocrine, cardiovascular, immunological, inflammatory) disease associations among the subtypes. Subtypes 1, 2 and 7 were the most severe, and subtype 3 was the mildest. Clinical features of each subtype were as follows: subtype 1 (cognitive, musculoskeletal, sleep, anxiety/depression); subtype 2 (musculoskeletal, pain, anxiety/depression); subtype 3 (mild); subtype 4 (cognitive); subtype 5 (musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal); subtype 6 (postexertional); subtype 7 (pain, infectious, musculoskeletal, sleep, neurological, gastrointestinal, neurocognitive, anxiety/depression).
It was particularly interesting that in the seven genomically derived subtypes there were distinct clinical syndromes, and that those which were most severe were also those with anxiety/depression, as would be expected in a disease with a biological basis.
Journal of clinical pathology 07/2008; 61(6):730-9. · 2.43 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterised by disabling fatigue of at least 6 months duration, which is accompanied by various rheumatological, infectious and neuropsychiatric symptoms. A collaborative study group has been formed to deal with the current areas for development in CFS research--namely, to develop an understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of CFS, to develop a diagnostic test and to develop specific and curative treatments. Various groups have studied the gene expression in peripheral blood of patients with CFS, and from those studies that have been confirmed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), clearly, the most predominant functional theme is that of immunity and defence. However, we do not yet know the precise gene signature and metabolic pathways involved. Currently, this is being dealt with using a microarray representing 47,000 human genes and variants, massive parallel signature sequencing and real-time PCR. It will be important to ensure that once a gene signature has been identified, it is specific to CFS and does not occur in other diseases and infections. A diagnostic test is being developed using surface-enhanced, laser-desorption and ionisation-time-of-flight mass spectrometry based on a pilot study in which putative biomarkers were identified. Finally, clinical trials are being planned; novel treatments that we believe are important to trial in patients with CFS are interferon-beta and one of the anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha drugs.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 03/2007; 60(2):113-6. · 2.31 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The immune system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of certain clinical manifestations of parvovirus B19 infection, including rash and arthralgia. Cytokines feature in the pathogenesis of parvovirus B19 infection, so inherited variability in cytokine responses to B19 infection might have a bearing on the symptomatology of parvovirus B19 infection.
To investigate the possible role of cytokine gene polymorphisms in the clinical manifestations of parvovirus B19 infection.
Thirty six patients with a variety of symptoms at acute infection and follow up (mean, 22.0 months) and controls (99-330, depending on the locus) were examined for the following cytokine polymorphisms: tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), -308; interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), +874; interleukin 6 (IL-6), -174; IL-10, -592, -819, and -1082; and transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF beta 1), +869 (codon 10) and +915 (codon 25).
The TNF alpha -308*A allele occurred in 13.9% of the parvovirus group compared with 27.0% of the control group (odds ratio (OR), 0.44; p = 0.02). The TGF beta 1 CG/CG haplotype was more frequent in the parvovirus group than in the controls (16.7% v 5%; OR, 4.8; p = 0.02). Within the B19 infected group, the TGF beta 1 +869 T allele was associated with skin rash at acute infection (p = 0.005), whereas at follow up the IFN-gamma +874 T allele was associated with the development of anti-B19 non-structural protein 1 antibodies (p = 0.04).
The results of the present study suggest that inherited variability in cytokine responses may affect the likelihood of developing symptoms during parvovirus infection.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 11/2003; 56(10):725-7. · 2.31 Impact Factor