Autoimmune hypothesis

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Theory[edit | edit source]

The Open Medicine Foundation, with immunologist Mark Davis, and geneticist Lars Steinmetz, is currently investigating the replication of T cells in ME, which may indicate an autoimmune disease is present in some ME/CFS patients.[1]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Evidence for autoimmunity in ME and CFS[edit | edit source]

Shows fibromyalgia 30-77% overlap, Hashimoto's thyroiditis 17-20%, POTS 11-40% overlap and family history of autoimmune conditions 18-41% overlap.
Autoimmune conditions in people with ME/CFS. Source: Sotzny et al (2018), EUROMENE project.

Many people with ME/CFS also have autoimmune conditions such as Fibromyalgia or Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or have a family history of autoimmune diseases.[2]POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, can be initiated or maintained by autoantibodies as well, and POTS is common in people with ME. A number of different immune system abnormalities have been found in some patients with ME/CFS.[2]

One study found elevated cellular antigens in 83% of CFS patients.[3]

Autoimmune disease is one of several illnesses or conditions experienced alongside of ME/CFS.[4]

Samples from a large cohort (n=268) in Berlin, Germany and a smaller sample of patients treated with Rituximab (n=25) were measured against controls (n=168). Researchers found that antibodies against a neurotransmitter receptor were elevated in 29.5% of patients. Specifically, antibodies to ß2 adrenergic and M3 and M4 muscarinic cholinergic receptors, which are both G protein-coupled receptors (GCPRs). In patients receiving Rituximab, those who were responders had significantly lower levels of ß2 and M4 autoantibodies after treatment. The authors suggest that these autoantibodies could be biomarkers to those CFS patients most likely to respond to Rituximab treatment.[5][6]

Published Studies[edit | edit source]

Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.01.1 Open Medicine Foundation (Feb 28, 2018). "OMF-funded research: T cells and molecular immunology". Open Medicine Foundation. Retrieved Jul 11, 2019. 
  2. 2.02.12.2 Sotzny, Franziska; Blanco, Julià; Capelli, Enrica; Castro-Marrero, Jesús; Steiner, Sophie; Murovska, Modra; Scheibenbogen, Carmen (2018), "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Evidence for an autoimmune disease", Autoimmunity Reviews, 17 (6): 601-609, doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2018.01.009 
  3. von Mikecz, A.; Konstantinov, K.; Buchwald, D. S.; Gerace, L.; Tan, E. M. (Feb 1997). "High frequency of autoantibodies to insoluble cellular antigens in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome". Arthritis and Rheumatism. 40 (2): 295–305. ISSN 0004-3591. PMID 9041942. 
  4. "Overlapping Conditions – American ME and CFS Society". ammes.org. Retrieved Aug 12, 2018. 
  5. "Autoantibodies found in subset of CFS patients | #MEAction". www.meaction.net. Retrieved Aug 12, 2018. 
  6. Loebel, Madlen; Grabowski, Patricia; Heidecke, Harald; Bauer, Sandra; Hanitsch, Leif G.; Wittke, Kirsten; Meisel, Christian; Reinke, Petra; Volk, Hans-Dieter (Feb 2016). "Antibodies to β adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 52: 32–39. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2015.09.013. ISSN 1090-2139. PMID 26399744. 
  7. Morris, Gerwyn; Berk, Michael; Galecki, Piotr; Maes, Michael (Apr 1, 2014). "The Emerging Role of Autoimmunity in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/cfs)". Molecular Neurobiology. 49 (2): 741–756. doi:10.1007/s12035-013-8553-0. ISSN 1559-1182. 
  8. Maes, Michael; Ringel, Karl; Kubera, Marta; Anderson, George; Morris, Gerwyn; Galecki, Piotr; Geffard, Michel (Sep 5, 2013). "In myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, increased autoimmune activity against 5-HT is associated with immuno-inflammatory pathways and bacterial translocation". Journal of Affective Disorders. 150 (2): 223–230. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.03.029. ISSN 0165-0327. 
  9. Maes, Michael; Ringel, Karl; Kubera, Marta; Berk, Michael; Rybakowski, Janusz Rybakowski (Feb 1, 2012). "Increased autoimmune activity against 5-HT : a key component of depression that is associated with inflammation and activation of cell-mediated immunity, and with severity and staging of depression". Journal of affective disorders. 136 (3): 386–392. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2011.11.016. ISSN 0165-0327. 
  10. Staines, Donald R (May 1, 2004). "Is chronic fatigue syndrome an autoimmune disorder of endogenous neuropeptides, exogenous infection and molecular mimicry?". Medical Hypotheses. 62 (5): 646–652. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2004.01.012. ISSN 0306-9877. 

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

ME/CFS - An acronym that combines myalgic encephalomyelitis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes they are combined because people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes they are combined because people see them as synonyms of each other.

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) - A form of orthostatic intolerance where the cardinal symptom is excessive tachycardia due to changing position (e.g. from lying down to sitting up).

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) - A form of orthostatic intolerance where the cardinal symptom is excessive tachycardia due to changing position (e.g. from lying down to sitting up).

Antibody - Antibodies or immunoglobulin refers to any of a large number of specific proteins produced by B cells that act against an antigen in an immune response.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.