The chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by a prolonged incapacitating fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, and decreases in cognition, besides alterations in other physiological functions. At present, no specific biological markers have been described in this pathology. In the present study, we analyzed in lymphocytes the CD57 expression for the diagnosis of CFS, evaluating both the percentage of blood lymphocytes expressing CD57 and the average amount of the molecule expressed per cell. The study demonstrated a marked and significant decrease in the expression of CD57 in lymphocytes of CFS patients regarding healthy controls. In T lymphocytes, the decrease was significant both in the percentage of cells expressing CD57 (7.5 ± 1.2 vs 13.3 ± 1.6, p = 0.024) and in a more relevant way in the amount of CD57 molecule expressed per cell (331 ± 59 vs 1003 ± 104, p ≤ 0.0001). In non-T lymphocytes, the decrease was significant only in the amount of CD57 expressed per cell (379 ± 114 vs 691 ± 95, p = 0.007). The study of CD57 antigen in blood lymphocytes is a useful marker that could cooperate in the diagnosis of CFS patients. Its decrease in T lymphocytes provides most valuable results than the results in other lymphocyte subpopulations.
Keywords: CD57; Chronic fatigue syndrome.