Original Article | Published:

Cytokine network analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome

Molecular Psychiatry volume 21, pages 261269 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is an unexplained debilitating disorder that is frequently associated with cognitive and motor dysfunction. We analyzed cerebrospinal fluid from 32 cases, 40 subjects with multiple sclerosis and 19 normal subjects frequency-matched for age and sex using a 51-plex cytokine assay. Group-specific differences were found for the majority of analytes with an increase in cases of CCL11 (eotaxin), a chemokine involved in eosinophil recruitment. Network analysis revealed an inverse relationship between interleukin 1 receptor antagonist and colony-stimulating factor 1, colony-stimulating factor 2 and interleukin 17F, without effects on interleukin 1α or interleukin 1β, suggesting a disturbance in interleukin 1 signaling. Our results indicate a markedly disturbed immune signature in the cerebrospinal fluid of cases that is consistent with immune activation in the central nervous system, and a shift toward an allergic or T helper type-2 pattern associated with autoimmunity.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful for the support of the Chronic Fatigue Initiative/Hutchins Family Foundation and the Edward P Evans Foundation (WIL and MH). We appreciate the technical support of Wai Wong, Noel Pura and Shobun Baile.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA

    • M Hornig
    • , A F Schultz
    • , M L Eddy
    • , X Che
    •  & W I Lipkin
  2. Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA

    • M Hornig
    •  & W I Lipkin
  3. Sierra Internal Medicine at Incline Village, Incline Village, NV, USA

    • G Gottschalk
    •  & D L Peterson
  4. Coppe Healthcare Solutions, Waukesha, WI, USA

    • K K Knox
  5. Simmaron Research, Incline Village, NV, USA

    • K K Knox
  6. Departments of Pathology and Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

    • W I Lipkin

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M Hornig.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2015.29

Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on the Molecular Psychiatry website (http://www.nature.com/mp)

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