TGI Friday! Our weekly round-up of recently published research abstracts (and related items) | 13 February 2015

February 13, 2015

From Frontiers in Neurology, 5 February 2015 Opening section appears below. To read the full article, please click on this link.


Biopersistence and brain translocation of aluminum adjuvants of vaccines

Romain Kroum Gherardi*, Housam Eidi, Guillemette Crépeaux,François Jerome Authier Josette Cadusseau
Faculté de Médecine and Faculté des Sciences et Technologie, INSERM U955 Team 10, Université Paris Est-Créteil, Créteil, France

Aluminum oxyhydroxide (alum) is a crystalline compound widely used as an immunological adjuvant of vaccines. Concerns linked to the use of alum particles emerged following recognition of their causative role in the so-called macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF) lesion detected in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue/syndrome.

MMF revealed an unexpectedly long-lasting biopersistence of alum within immune cells in presumably susceptible individuals, stressing the previous fundamental misconception of its biodisposition. We previously showed that poorly biodegradable aluminum-coated particles injected into muscle are promptly phagocytosed in muscle and the draining lymph nodes, and can disseminate within phagocytic cells throughout the body and slowly accumulate in brain. This strongly suggests that long-term adjuvant biopersistence within phagocytic cells is a prerequisite for slow brain translocation and delayed neurotoxicity.

The understanding of basic mechanisms of particle biopersistence and brain translocation represents a major health challenge, since it could help to define susceptibility factors to develop chronic neurotoxic damage. Biopersistence of alum may be linked to its lysosome-destabilizing effect, which is likely due to direct crystal-induced rupture of phagolysosomal membranes.

Macrophages that continuously perceive foreign particles in their cytosol will likely reiterate, with variable interindividual efficiency, a dedicated form of autophagy (xenophagy) until they dispose of alien materials. Successful compartmentalization of particles within double membrane autophagosomes and subsequent fusion with repaired and re-acidified lysosomes will expose alum to lysosomal acidic pH, the sole factor that can solubilize alum particles.

Brain translocation of alum particles is linked to a Trojan horse mechanism previously described for infectious particles (HIV, HCV), that obeys to CCL2, signaling the major inflammatory monocyte chemoattractant.

From Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, journal of the International Association for ME/CFS 8 January 2015 (epublished before print).

Test-retest reliability of the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire

Leonard A. Jason(a,*), Suzanna So(b), Abigail A. Brown(a), Madison Sunnquist(a) & Meredyth Evans(a)
a) Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, USA
b) Clinical Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, USA
* Corresponding author



The DePaul Symptom Questionnaire (DSQ) was developed to provide a structured approach for collecting standardized symptomatology and health history information to allow researchers and clinicians to determine whether a patient meets the diagnostic criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and/or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).


The purpose of this study was to examine the test-retest reliability of the DSQ.


Test-retest reliability of the measure was examined with a sample of 26 adults self-identifying as having either ME/CFS, ME, and/or CFS and 25 adults who did not self-identify as having these illnesses and were otherwise healthy controls.


Overall, the majority of items on the DSQ exhibited good to excellent test-retest reliability, with Pearson's or kappa correlation coefficients that were 0.70 or higher.


Thus, the present study suggests that the DSQ is a reliable diagnostic measure that can provide a standardized way of examining illness constructs and symptomatology among patients who identify as having ME/CFS, ME, and/or CFS.

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