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Extended B cell phenotype in patients with ME/CFS: a cross-sectional study

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Vasha, May 4, 2016.

  1. Vasha

    Vasha Senior Member

    This is not available yet on PubMed, but the abstract is. I am not sure if the article is available without a subscription.
    This was funded by Invest in ME (thank you, Invest in ME!).


    Clin Exp Immunol. 2016 May;184(2):237-47. doi: 10.1111/cei.12749. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

    Extended B cell phenotype in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: a cross-sectional study.

    Mensah F1, Bansal A2, Berkovitz S3, Sharma A1, Reddy V1, Leandro MJ1, Cambridge G1.
    Author information

    1 Department of Rheumatology Research, Division of Medicine, University College of London.
    2 Department of Immunology, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.
    3 Department of Neurology, Royal London Hospital of Integrated Medicine, London, UK.


    Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a heterogeneous condition of unknown aetiology characterized by multiple symptoms including fatigue, post-exertional malaise and cognitive impairment, lasting for at least 6 months.

    Recently, two clinical trials of B cell depletion therapy with rituximab (anti-CD20) reported convincing improvement in symptoms. A possible but undefined role for B cells has therefore been proposed.

    Studies of the relative percentages of B cell subsets in patients with ME/CFS have not revealed any reproducible differences from healthy controls (HC). In order to explore whether more subtle alterations in B cell subsets related to B cell differentiation exist in ME/CFS patients we used flow cytometry to immunophenotype CD19(+) B cells. The panel utilized immunoglobulin (Ig)D, CD27 and CD38 (classical B cell subsets) together with additional markers.

    A total of 38 patients fulfilling Canadian, Centre for Disease Control and Fukuda ME/CFS criteria and 32 age- and sex-matched HC were included.

    We found no difference in percentages of classical subsets between ME/CFS patients and HC. However, we observed an increase in frequency (P < 0·01) and expression (MFI; P = 0·03) of CD24 on total B cells, confined to IgD(+) subsets.

    Within memory subsets, a higher frequency of CD21(+) CD38(-) B cells (>20%) was associated with the presence of ME/CFS [odds ratio: 3·47 (1·15-10·46); P = 0·03] compared with HC, and there was a negative correlation with disease duration.

    In conclusion, we identified possible changes in B cell phenotype in patients with ME/CFS. These may reflect altered B cell function and, if confirmed in other patient cohorts, could provide a platform for studies based on clinical course or responsiveness to rituximab therapy.

    © 2016 British Society for Immunology.

    B cells; chronic fatigue syndrome; flow cytometry; human; myalgic encephalomyelitis

    I am completely unprepared to comment on it :) -- but thought it might be of interest. @Jonathan Edwards ? @Valentijn ?

    [edited to break up the abstract text][Edit two: now with link, thanks to @shannah]
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
    TiredSam, Valentijn, Justin30 and 3 others like this.
  2. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

  3. Vasha

    Vasha Senior Member

    Ack! Thanks @shannah. Sorry about leaving the link out.
    shannah likes this.
  4. Bob


    England (south coast)
    Justin30, Vasha and BurnA like this.
  5. Vasha

    Vasha Senior Member

    Thanks, @Bob - sorry about that. I'll head over there...

    Bob likes this.

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