Dysregulated expression of tumor necrosis factor in chronic fatigue syndrome: Interrelations with cellular sources and patterns of soluble immune mediator expression

Roberto Patarca, Nancy G. Klimas, Susan Lugtendorf, Michael Antoni, Mary Ann Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Scopus citations


Among a group of 70 individuals who met the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), 12%-28% had serum levels exceeding 95% of control values for tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, TNF-β, interleukin (IL) 1α, IL-2, soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R), or neopterin; overall, 60% of patients had elevated levels of one or more of the nine soluble immune mediators tested. Nevertheless, only the distributions for circulating levels of TNF-α and TNF-β differed significantly in the two populations. In patients with CFS- but not in controls-serum levels of TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-4, and sIL-2R correlated significantly with one another and (in the 10 cases analyzed) with relative amounts (as compared to β-globin or β-actin) of the only mRNAs detectable by reverse transcriptase-coupled polymerase chain reaction in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells: TNF-β, unspliced and spliced; IL-1β, lymphocyte fraction; and IL-6 (in order of appearance). These findings point to polycellular activation and may be relevant to the etiology and nosology of CFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S147-S153
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Jan 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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