TGI Friday! Our weekly round-up of recently published research abstracts | 4 March 2016

March 4, 2016

From the Journal of Immunology Research, accepted 15 December 2015 (open access).

A Preliminary Comparative Assessment of the Role of CD8+ T Cells in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Multiple Sclerosis

Ekua W. Brenu(1). Simon Broadley(2), Thao Nguyen(1,3). Samantha Johnston(1,3), Sandra Ramos(1), Don Staines(1) and Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik(1,3).

1) The National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
2) School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
3) School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia



CD8+ T cells have putative roles in the regulation of adaptive immune responses during infection. The purpose of this paper is to compare the status of CD8+ T cells in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).


This preliminary investigation comprised 23 CFS/ME patients, 11 untreated MS patients, and 30 nonfatigued controls. Whole blood samples were collected from participants, stained with monoclonal antibodies, and analysed on the flow cytometer. Using the following CD markers, CD27 and CD45RA (CD45 exon isoform 4), CD8+ T cells were divided into naïve, central memory (CM), effector memory CD45RA− (EM), and effector memory CD45RA+ (EMRA) cells.


Surface expressions of BTLA, CD127, and CD49/CD29 were increased on subsets of CD8+ T cells from MS patients. In the CFS/ME patients CD127 was significantly decreased on all subsets of CD8+ T cells in comparison to the nonfatigued controls. PSGL-1 was significantly reduced in the CFS/ME patients in comparison to the nonfatigued controls.


The results suggest significant deficits in the expression of receptors and adhesion molecules on subsets of CD8+ T cells in both MS and CFS/ME patients. These deficits reported may contribute to the pathogenesis of these diseases. However, larger sample size is warranted to confirm and support these encouraging preliminary findings.

From Sciforschen: Clinical Research (Open Access), 12 January 2016.

Educational Priorities for Healthcare Providers and Name Suggestions for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Including the Patient Voice

Laura Nicholson, Abigail Brown, Leonard A Jason, Diana Ohanian, and Kelly O’Connor
Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, USA


Surveys over the past two decades found that patients, advocates, and researchers want the name chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to be changed because this label minimizes the severity of the illness (Taylor, Friedberg, & Jason, 2001).

The present study sought to qualitatively investigate patient views on the illness label CFS and healthcare providers’ knowledge of CFS.

A patient-research organization asked members two open-ended questions regarding preferences for specific illness labels and educational suggestions for healthcare providers. Responses to both questions were coded thematically by multiple, trained research assistants.

Findings suggested that 96% of participants disliked/ strongly disliked CFS. Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) was the majority’s first preference (55%) and was chosen four times more than any other name given.

Four themes emerged for educational concerns: attitudes of healthcare providers, symptomatology, research, and implications of inadequate education.

The most frequent subtheme (37%) was patients wanting healthcare providers to acknowledge that this is a real/serious illness.

Diagnostic labels can influence providers’ perceptions of diseases and affect quality of care and communication between providers and patients. Therefore patients should be stakeholders in the process of name change.

Understanding patient perspectives on educational priorities and illness labels will facilitate improved communication between providers and patients.

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