Cytokine Expression Profiles of Immune Imbalance in Post-Mononucleosis Chronic Fatigue

J Transl Med. 2012 Sep 13;10:191. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-10-191.

Abstract

Background: As Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has been known to follow Epstein-Bar virus (EBV) and other systemic infections; our objective was to describe differences in immune activation in post-infective CFS (PI-CFS) patients and recovered controls. We studied 301 adolescents prospectively over 24 months following the diagnosis of monospot-positive infectious mononucleosis (IM). We found an incidence of CFS at 6, 12 and 24 months of 13%, 7% and 4% respectively.

Methods: Using chemiluminescent imaging we measured the concentrations of IL-1a, 1b, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 (p70), 13, 15, 17 and 23, IFN-γ, TNF-α and TNF-β in duplicate plasma samples available in bio-bank from 9 PI-CFS subjects and 12 recovered controls at 24 months post-infection.

Results: Standard comparative analysis indicated significant differences in IL-8 and 23 across subject groups. In constructing a linear classification model IL-6, 8 and 23 were selected by two different statistical approaches as discriminating features, with IL-1a, IL-2 and IFN-γ also selected in one model or the other. This supported an assignment accuracy of better than 80% at a confidence level of 0.95 into PI-CFS versus recovered controls.

Conclusion: These results suggest that co-expression patterns in as few as 5 cytokines associated with Th17 function may hold promise as a tool for the diagnosis of post-infectious CFS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Fatigue / genetics
  • Fatigue / immunology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / genetics
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / immunology*

Substances

  • Cytokines