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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 9064529, 8 pages
Research Article

A Preliminary Comparative Assessment of the Role of CD8+ T Cells in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Multiple Sclerosis

1The National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
2School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
3School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia

Received 6 October 2015; Revised 7 December 2015; Accepted 15 December 2015

Academic Editor: Jacek Tabarkiewicz

Copyright © 2016 Ekua W. Brenu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. CD8+ T cells have putative roles in the regulation of adaptive immune responses during infection. The purpose of this paper is to compare the status of CD8+ T cells in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). Methods. This preliminary investigation comprised 23 CFS/ME patients, 11 untreated MS patients, and 30 nonfatigued controls. Whole blood samples were collected from participants, stained with monoclonal antibodies, and analysed on the flow cytometer. Using the following CD markers, CD27 and CD45RA (CD45 exon isoform 4), CD8+ T cells were divided into naïve, central memory (CM), effector memory CD45RA− (EM), and effector memory CD45RA+ (EMRA) cells. Results. Surface expressions of BTLA, CD127, and CD49/CD29 were increased on subsets of CD8+ T cells from MS patients. In the CFS/ME patients CD127 was significantly decreased on all subsets of CD8+ T cells in comparison to the nonfatigued controls. PSGL-1 was significantly reduced in the CFS/ME patients in comparison to the nonfatigued controls. Conclusions. The results suggest significant deficits in the expression of receptors and adhesion molecules on subsets of CD8+ T cells in both MS and CFS/ME patients. These deficits reported may contribute to the pathogenesis of these diseases. However, larger sample size is warranted to confirm and support these encouraging preliminary findings.