Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Immunol. 2017 Feb;187(2):284-293. doi: 10.1111/cei.12882. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Impaired calcium mobilization in natural killer cells from chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis patients is associated with transient receptor potential melastatin 3 ion channels.

Author information

The National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, Menzies Health Institute, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.
School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.


Transient receptor potential melastatin subfamily 3 (TRPM3) ion channels play a role in calcium (Ca2+ ) cell signalling. Reduced TRPM3 protein expression has been identified in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) patients. However, the significance of TRPM3 and association with intracellular Ca2+ mobilization has yet to be determined. Fifteen CFS/ME patients (mean age 48·82 ± 9·83 years) and 25 healthy controls (mean age 39·2 ± 12·12 years) were examined. Isolated natural killer (NK) cells were labelled with fluorescent antibodies to determine TRPM3, CD107a and CD69 receptors on CD56dim CD16+ NK cells and CD56bright CD16dim/- NK cells. Ca2+ flux and NK cytotoxicity activity was measured under various stimulants, including pregnenolone sulphate (PregS), thapsigargin (TG), 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2APB) and ionomycin. Unstimulated CD56bright CD16dim/- NK cells showed significantly reduced TRPM3 receptors in CFS/ME compared with healthy controls (HC). Ca2+ flux showed no significant difference between groups. Moreover, PregS-stimulated CD56bright CD16dim/- NK cells showed a significant increase in Ca2+ flux in CFS/ME patients compared with HC. By comparison, unstimulated CD56dim CD16+ NK cells showed no significant difference in both Ca2+ flux and TRPM3 expression. PregS-stimulated CD56dim CD16+ NK cells increased TRPM3 expression significantly in CFS/ME, but this was not associated with a significant increase in Ca2+ flux. Furthermore, TG-stimulated CD56dim CD16+ NK cells increased K562 cell lysis prior to PregS stimulation in CFS/ME patients compared with HC. Differential expression of TRPM3 and Ca2+ flux between NK cell subtypes may provide evidence for their role in the pathomechanism involving NK cell cytotoxicity activity in CFS/ME.


cell surface molecules; inhibitory/activating receptors; natural killer cells

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center