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E.W. Brenu1, K.J. Ashton, S.L. Hardcastle1, T. Huth, L. Cosgrave, J. Batovska, G. Atkinson, M.L. van Driel, D.R. Staines, and S.M. Marshall-Gradisnik
AcceptedAbstracts: Transl Med
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is thought to affect other physiological processes including endocrine, neurological, immune and metabolic processes thus compromising physiological processes. Although the current diagnosis is not the most appropriate, large genomic studies have indicated that CFS may have a genetic component. Most of these genes that have been identified to be differentially expressed in CFS patients when compared to non-fatigued controls are involved in most of the previously mentioned physiological processes. The complexities of CFS arise from the fact that multi-systems are implicated thus making diagnosis difficult. However, targeted studies stringently focused on certain important aspects of CFS including cytotoxic activity may elucidate processes, proteins and genes whose abnormality may contribute to the reduced cytotoxic activity in CFS patients. In this regard genetic studies in preferentially isolated NK and CD8+T cells have been carried out to determine irregularities in the expression of genes related to immune function in these cells. Importantly, lytic genes GZMA and GZMB were decreased while PRF1 was increased in CFS patients in comparison to the non-fatigued control group. Similarly, reduced expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) was also observed in the CFS group in particular miR-21, which has a role on apoptosis. These findings have significant implications for CFS and are suggestive of a role of gene expression in the mechanism of CFS, specifically, cytotoxic activity.
Ekua Weba Brenu has completed her Ph.D from Bond University and is currently undertaking postdoctoral studies at Griffith University School of Medical Science. She is also a researcher for the Population Health and Neuroimmunology Unit, a premier in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She has published more than 15 papers in A plus journals as well as 5 book chapters. She won the Young Investigator of the year award at the 2011 IACFS conference. She is currently a co-investigator on a $800,000.