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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Is HHV-6 altering the mitochondria in NK lymphocytes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients?

Mitochondrial alterations in NK lymphocytes from ME/CFS patients

"Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a disease characterized by profound fatigue, flu-like symptoms, trouble concentrating, and autonomic problems, all of which worsen after exertion. ME/CFS patients have impaired natural killer (NK) cell activity. NK lymphocytes are a critical first defense against viruses and cancer. ME/CFS patients have difficulties controlling viral infections and many develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Mitochondrial metabolism is crucial for immune cell function. Mitochondria dysfunction has been previously reported in ME/CFS, but it is not known whether the NK cells of these patients have altered mitochondrial metabolism that affect their activity and contribute to ME/CFS pathogenesis. More importantly, there is currently no efficient method to diagnose ME/CFS or assess efficacy of therapeutic interventions. The Bioenergetic Health Index (BHI) has been developed as promising and reliable surrogate readout of human health by measuring the bioenergetic status of immune cells. Variations in bioenergetic function in patient’s immune cells can reflect both metabolic stress and the mutable role of these cells in ME/CFS immunity and pathogenesis. In our study, we observed that the two main energy-generating mitochondrial pathways, oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis (bioenergetics parameters), are deregulated in ME/CFS NK cells and in PBMCs. Moreover, we observed alterations in the morphology and membrane potential of the mitochondria of NK cells. These mitochondrial features can affect NK cell function and contribute to the severity of disease. To date, this is the first metabolism assessment of NK cells in ME/CFS and as potential new diagnostic tool for the disease."

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