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Autoimmun Rev. 2018 Jun;17(6):601-609. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2018.01.009. Epub 2018 Apr 7.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Evidence for an autoimmune disease.

Author information

1
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin Institute of Health, Institute of Medical Immunology, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
2
Institut de Recerca de la Sida IrsiCaixa-HIVACAT, Institut d'Investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol, IGTP, UAB, Carretera del Canyet, s/n, 08916 Badalona, Spain; Universitat de Vic-UCC, Carrer de la Sagrada Família, 7, 08500 Vic, Barcelona, Spain.
3
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 7, 27100 Pavia, Italy; Centre for Health Technologies (CHT), University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 5, 27100 Pavia, Italy.
4
Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, CFS/ME Unit, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 119-129, Passeig de la Vall d'Hebron, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.
5
August Kirchenstein Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Riga Stradins University, Dzirciema iela 16, Kurzemes rajons, Rīga 1007, Latvia.
6
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin Institute of Health, Institute of Medical Immunology, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: carmen.scheibenbogen@charite.de.

Abstract

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a frequent and severe chronic disease drastically impairing life quality. The underlying pathomechanism is incompletely understood yet but there is convincing evidence that in at least a subset of patients ME/CFS has an autoimmune etiology. In this review, we will discuss current autoimmune aspects for ME/CFS. Immune dysregulation in ME/CFS has been frequently described including changes in cytokine profiles and immunoglobulin levels, T- and B-cell phenotype and a decrease of natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Moreover, autoantibodies against various antigens including neurotransmitter receptors have been recently identified in ME/CFS individuals by several groups. Consistently, clinical trials from Norway have shown that B-cell depletion with rituximab results in clinical benefits in about half of ME/CFS patients. Furthermore, recent studies have provided evidence for severe metabolic disturbances presumably mediated by serum autoantibodies in ME/CFS. Therefore, further efforts are required to delineate the role of autoantibodies in the onset and pathomechanisms of ME/CFS in order to better understand and properly treat this disease.

KEYWORDS:

Autoantibodies; Autoimmune; Biomarker; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

PMID:
29635081
DOI:
10.1016/j.autrev.2018.01.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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