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What is considered low NK cell function?

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Nina, May 11, 2010.

  1. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    thanks for this thread.. Ive just realised from it that ive never had my natural killer cell function tested (just the numbers). My numbers were fine.
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    i thought my tests was just of the number and not function.. but on looking again at this thread, i saw dr yes's post and hence now are confused and wondering if they are lf NK cell function results after all. I read all the posts here again and are even more confused.

    i had a Immunophenotyping test/ Lymphoctye surface markers - flow cytometry

    It says Natural killer Cell Markers CD3-/CD (16+56)+ result was 10% (normal 2-24) .. Is this percentage indicative of the function?
    ...........

    my results fit one of the CFS studies someone posted the link here.. I cant remember which it was but higher levels of CD2 (or it could of been CD3) were found in the CFS group than the controls. Im towards the higher levels in those.

    So my big question is .. is my NK cells normal?? (i actually find that strange if so as i ad this blood test done back several years ago when i was mostly housebound.. Unfortunately i have got no tests thou from back when i was extremely sick).
  3. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

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    Hi tania

    Yes!! :victory:

    That lab result is an NK cell count, like the 'census' measurements Hope and I mentioned earlier in this thread. It was normal in your case, as it is in many ME/CFS patients. It does not, however, tell you about function. For that you would need a different kind of test (the NK functional assay described earlier).
  4. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    B12 and low NK function in the GD--MCB hypothesis

    Hi, all.

    The Glutathione Depletion--Methylation Cycle Block hypothesis for CFS can explain the low NK function observed in CFS, as well as the benefit of methyl B12 supplementation to NK cell function, as reported in the abstract quoted earlier in this thread.

    In the GD--MCB hypothesis, glutathione depletion in the natural killer cells interferes with synthesis of perforin, the substance that NK cells use to punch holes in their victim cells in order to inject the granzymes as "poison pills." Kevin Maher, who was in Nancy Klimas's group some years ago, showed that perforin is low in NK and cytotoxic T cells in CFS. The low perforin production can account for the low NK cell activity.

    In the GD--MCB hypothesis, the reason methyl B12 helps NK cell function is that it helps to lift the partial block in the methylation cycle, which allows glutathione to come up to normal.

    Glutathione can become partially depleted even in people who do not have CFS, and supplementing B12 and folate can help in those cases, also.

    If you would like to read more about this model and the treatment based on it, this information can be found at www.cfsresearch.org by clicking on CFS/M.E., and then on my name.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Thanks.. i finally understand now :)

    DrYes.. do you know at all how long the B12 injections ive been having would take to wear out of my system?? so i can have function test without it being altered by the B12
  6. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    Has anybody had their nk cell function measure with VIP/redlabs? I did over a year ago and most of them were significantly low except one was normal and one was high. They measure NKC1-9 I didnt notice that acronym on my perusal here now, but I would like to compare w/others who had cfs panel at vip to better understand.
  7. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Hi Xrayspex,

    I had mine tested at Redlabs. First it was 40, then 20. They defined the loest normal value as 60.

    More recently I had it tested in Germany (using the same units and scale) and my level had gone up to 100. The German lab considered 100 to 120 to be the lowest normal value: They explained the range as being a "grey area" in which there may be a pathology or the person may simply be at a low point for no real reason. Over 120 is what they consider fully healthy.
  8. onebush

    onebush Guest

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    What is cosidered low NK function

    Hi,
    Yes, that is exactly right. I have been to Miami twice in the last two months. Dr. Klimas did a ton of immune testing. My natural killer cells were operating at only 25% and I had 5 times the inflammatory cytokins than I should. She has started me on Imunovir..so far so good. She mentioned Oxymartine for a later date. She believes in going slowly we are all so senstive. I am planning to post about the experience but have been very tired but I will. I started a couple times but gave up.

    Margaret
  9. Cloud

    Cloud Guest


    Thanks for sharing your experiences with Dr Klimas Tx. I would like to hear you things go for you. Be good to you.
  10. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    Sigh.. I just got my nk cell function test results back from klimas: 5.3
    Last year it was at 29. Im so much worse. And i think due to THE imunovir cause that caused my crash. But it's supposed to improve function :-|
    dont know what to do anymore, feel like I'm falling apart
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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  12. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Is that %lytic actitivty or lytic unit 30%?
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    cfs study i am in is measuring nk activity, they are looking at nk bright cells. Healthy range was 5-10, my first reading when i had been on famvir for 12 months and feeling almost normal, and had my lymphocytes down to almost normal was 4.32 so just under normal range. In the time i went off famvir and went down hill my nk bright cells were 1, way below normal. I dont think famvir has a direct effect on my nk function but indirectly through lowering the viral load. Its only early days as i only have 2 results for nk function but poor nk function for me correlates with elevated lymphocyte subsets. There was another test called nk activity, rangers were 13.8-34.8, my first test was 33 and my second test when feeling crappy was 6, way below normal range.

    From what i can gather, this study is trying to produce a test for cfs and seem interested in the nk bright cells as a test for cfs. From what i can gather most of the cfs people show low numbers in nk bright cells. This study only has 6 months to go, so thats 18 months worth of data and 4 tests of each cfs patient compared to a healthy control group. Im not sure if any of these tests are the same as what klimas does though.

    cheers!!!
  14. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    Not sure but it means 10% function: THE average is 30 in this test.
  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    if the average is 30% and your 10% then your nk function is low like most cfsers. What things have u tried to help improve your immune function plus what other infection treatments like av's and abx??
  16. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    You dont understand. THE average is 30. So that is 50% I have 5. So i have extremely low score. Last year it was 29. I have deteriorated immensely.
  17. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    your nk function has dropped and your symptoms correlate to the lower reading, that makes sense as nk cells are our first line of defense against infections and help keep latent infections like ebv and cmv etc down. so with a low nk function, all these bugs that your immune system tries to depress are now running wild. If your immune function is really low, would your doc look at giving you gamma globulin injection/infusions etc. might also pay to get tested for all the infections related to cfs again as maybe they have reactivated. If your getting over run by infections, your immune system is going to tire out which is what it looks like is happening, so either need your doc to find and treat the infection or put you on something strong to boost your immune system or both.

    Sorry i cant be anymore helpful, i no you feel like crap. The only other thing is sleep as much as you can when your down in the pits of a 'crash'.
    Sorry, i hope you feel better soon>
  18. livingwithcfids

    livingwithcfids

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    NKC Cytotoxicity Assay
    In this assay the cytotoxic activity of nk cells in blood was measured by the release of 51 Cr from NK cell sensitive tumor cells targets K562 following a 4 hr incubation of target cells with effector cells. The number of NK cells in the blood was determined using the flow cytometer to measure the % of lymphocytes that were CD56+ and CD3-

    Results:


    nk cell enumerations (CD56+CD3-lymphocytes):
    1.9% range is 3-13%
    48 range is 63-291

    nk cell activity (% target cells killed at a 1:1 ratio of target cells to effector cells):
    4.3% range is 5-21%

    Comments: This assay was done from 8 to 24hrs from the time of the draw.


    Additional test: Just the measure of the nk cell absolute #.

    NKC(CD3-CD26+)
    39 range is 98-294

    In summary, my NK values are low, low, low.



    Decreased natural killer cell activity is associated with severity of chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome.
    Natural killer (NK) cell activity was measured blindly in vitro with blood specimens from 50 healthy individuals and 20 patients with clinically defined chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) who met the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta). In accordance with a group scoring system of 1-10 points, with 10 being the most severe clinical status, the patient population was stratified into three clinical groups: A (> 7 points), B (5-7 points), and C (< 5 points). NK cell activity was assessed by the number of lytic units (LU), which for the 50 healthy controls varied between 20 and 250 (50%, 20-50 LU; 32%, 51-100 LU; 6%, 101-130 LU; and 12%, > 150 LU). In none of the 20 patients with CFIDS was the NK cell activity > 100 LU. For group C, the 10 patients stratified as having the least severe clinical condition, the measure was 61.0 +/- 21.7 LU; for group B (more severe, n = 7), it was 18.3 +/- 7.3 LU; and for group A (most severe, n = 3), it was 8.0 +/- 5.3 LU. These data suggest a correlation between low levels of NK cell activity and severity of CFIDS, which, if it is confirmed by additional studies of larger groups, might be useful for subgrouping patients and monitoring therapy and/or the progression of CFIDS.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8148445

    This was in the context of 1994, and look how little has been done.
  19. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Those reference ranges like very similar to what is used in the aussie Bond university nk function study, maybe a similar test is used. My results have been as high as the 4%(still below normal) and last test was 1%. But they further divide nk function into bright cells and dim cells.
    Anyone know if these guys may have teamed up with bond uni or klimas, i know bond and klimas have, be good to see more partnerships in this sort of study/testing.

    cheers!!!

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