Autoimmunity Research in ME/CFS

Pyrrhus

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Autoimmunity Research in ME/CFS

I thought I would start a thread summarizing the research publications related to auto-immunity in ME. Please feel free to add new publications as appropriate.


I'll start with Carmen Scheibenbogen's work. Here is the 2015 paper by Carmen Scheibenbogen that found elevated levels of autonomic auto-antibodies in ME:

Antibodies to β adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (2015)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...inergic-receptors-in-patients-with-cfs.40109/
This paper reported that, in 29.5% of patients with ME, they found significantly elevated levels of autoantibodies that target three types of neurotransmitter receptors on autonomic nerves, compared to the levels of autoantibodies found in controls. The paper suggested that when these antibodies were depleted by Rituximab treatment, patients experienced an improvement in symptoms.


And here is an updated paper by Carmen Scheibenbogen that used the CellTrend test:

Autoantibodies to Vasoregulative G-Protein-Coupled Receptors Correlate with Symptom Severity, Autonomic Dysfunction and Disability in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (2021)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...isability-in-me-cfs-freitag-et-al-2021.87566/
This paper looked for correlations between certain antibodies and symptoms in ME. They found that levels of these certain antibodies significantly correlated with key symptoms of fatigue and muscle pain in patients with infection-triggered onset, but not in patients without an infection-triggered onset. They further suggest that specific antibodies might show some correlation with specific symptoms.
 

Pyrrhus

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And here are two studies from Carmen Scheibenbogen that tried to remove these antibodies by a therapy called "immunoabsorption".

Immunoabsorption is one type of plasmapheresis that removes many of the patient's antibodies in a somewhat indiscriminate way. Since immunoabsorption temporarily depletes the patient's antibodies, the investigators gave all patients IVIG at the end of each week-long immunoabsorption treatment, in order to restore their antibody levels to normal.

Immunoadsorption to remove ß2 adrenergic receptor antibodies in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS/ME (2018)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...renergic-receptor-antibodies-in-cfs-me.58277/
This small pilot study used immunoabsorption therapy on 10 ME patients who had elevated antibodies to a specific autonomic receptor. The therapy successfully decreased the level of antibodies in 9 of 10 patients. 7 of those 9 patients reported a rapid improvement of symptoms. 3 of the 7 reported that their improvement lasted for at least a year, but the rest of the 7 relapsed within a year.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Efficacy of Repeat Immunoadsorption (2020)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...mmunoadsorption-published-30-july-2020.80959/
In this follow-up study, 5 of the patients in the 2018 pilot study who had reported improvement of symptoms, but then relapsed, were re-treated about two years later with a slightly modified treatment schedule. 4 of the 5 reported improvement of symptoms again, but one didn't. The improvement of symptoms lasted 6-12 months. The authors suggest that regular immunoabsorption therapy might be a treatment, but not cure, of ME.
 

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Also from Carmen Scheibenbogen's group:

IgG stimulated β2 adrenergic receptor activation is attenuated in patients with ME/CFS (Hartwig et al., 2020)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...-is-attenuated-in-patients-with-me-cfs.79177/
This study compared autoantibodies to β2 receptors from 5 selected ME patients (with elevated β2 receptor autoantibodies) to β2 receptor autoantibodies from healthy controls. The autoantibodies from healthy controls seemed to stimulate the β2 receptors, but the autoantibodies from the 5 selected ME patients did not.
 

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Hypothalamic-Pituitary Autoimmunity and Related Impairment of Hormone Secretions in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (De Bellis et al., 2021) (includes Jose Montoya)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...secretions-in-chronic-fatigue-syndrome.84795/
This study looked for antipituitary (APA) and antihypothalamic (AHA) antibodies in 30 women with ME and 25 healthy controls. Patients with ME showed a high prevalence of AHA (33%) and APA (56%), while healthy controls showed no such autoantibodies. AHA and/or APA at high titers seemed to be associated with markers of hypothalamic/pituitary dysfunction.
 

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Searching for Serum Antibodies to Neuronal Proteins in Patients With ME/CFS (Giannoccaro et al., 2019) (includes Øystein Fluge)
This study looked for antibodies to brain tissue and neuronal cultures in 50 patients with ME and 50 healthy controls. No significant differences were seen between patients and controls.
 

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Not specific to ME, but here are two studies related to POTS:

Antiadrenergic autoimmunity in postural tachycardia syndrome (Fedorowski et al., 2016)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...ycardia-syndrome-fedorowski-et-al-2016.47655/
This study looked at 17 patients with POTS and 11 healthy controls. In cell culture, antibodies from patients activated adrenergic receptors more strongly than antibodies from healthy controls.

Inflammatory Biomarkers in Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome with Elevated G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Autoantibodies (Gunning et al., 2021)
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...ptor-autoantibodies-gunning-et-al-2021.83073/
This study took POTS patients with elevated autoantibodies to adrenergic and cholinergic receptors and looked for abnormalities in their cytokine levels.