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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Jul-Sep;22(3):795-807.

Transcription profile analysis of vastus lateralis muscle from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Department of Basic and Applied Medical Sciences (BAMS), Center for Excellence on Aging (CeSI), University G. d'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disabling condition characterized by unexplained chronic fatigue that impairs normal activities. Many body systems are affected and etiology has not yet been identified. In addition to immunological and psychological aspects, skeletal muscle symptoms are prominent in CFS patients. In an effort to establish which pathways might be involved in the onset and development of muscle symptoms, we used global transcriptome analysis to identify genes that were differentially expressed in the vastus lateralis muscle of female and male CFS patients. We found that the expression of genes that play key roles in mitochondrial function and oxidative balance, including superoxide dismutase 2, were altered, as were genes involved in energy production, muscular trophism and fiber phenotype determination. Importantly, the expression of a gene encoding a component of the nicotinic cholinergic receptor binding site was reduced, suggesting impaired neuromuscular transmission. We argue that these major biological processes could be involved in and/or responsible for the muscle symptoms of CFS.

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