Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Encephale. 1994 Nov;20 Spec No 3:597-602.

[Current studies on the neurobiology of chronic fatigue syndrome].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1INRA-INSERM U 176, Bordeaux.


Cytokines are soluble mediators which are released by activated immune cells during infection and inflammation. The possibility that fatigue is mediated by the effects of cytokines on the central nervous system is supported by several converging lines of evidence: 1) infusions of cytokines to immunocompromised patients induce flu-like symptoms including fatigue and malaise; 2) peripheral and central injection of cytokines to laboratory rodents induce sickness behaviour; 3) symptoms of sickness behaviour occurring during experimental infections can be abrogated by administration of anti-cytokine treatments; 4) although many pitfalls in the detection of cytokines still exist, patients afflicted with the chronic fatigue syndrome have been found in some studies to display instances of excessive production of cytokines. Experimental studies have confirmed that cytokines are interpreted by the brain as internal signals for sickness. Furthermore, there is evidence that sickness is a motivation which reorganizes the organism's priorities in face of this particular threat which is represented by infectious pathogens. The elucidation of the mechanisms that are involved in these effects and in particular, the role of the cytokines which are produced in the brain in response to peripheral immune stimuli and to stressors, should give new insight on the way sickness and recovery processes are organized in the brain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk