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Altered Endothelial Dysfunction‐related miRs in Plasma from ME/CFS Patients


Principal investigator:
Study start:
Not available
Completion (planned):
Not available
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Research types:
Basic research
Research areas:
Cardiovascular dysfunction
Not applicable
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Project description

Inflammation is part of the body’s defence mechanism and healing process, and involves an increase in blood flow to an injured area, in order to bring protective immune cells into the tissue to combat infection and repair damage. But sometimes inflammation can persist for longer than required, or be triggered unnecessarily, and this may itself cause damage. Inflammation appears to affect a subgroup of patients with ME/CFS, and has been implicated in other conditions affecting the cardiovascular system, particularly its impact on the endothelium. The endothelium is a layer of cells lining every blood vessel, and is involved in controlling their opening and closing, and hence the amount of blood flowing through them.

One of the ways the endothelium controls blood flow is through the release of a chemical called nitric oxide. Dr Blauensteiner used samples from the UK ME/CFS Biobank to look at a levels of circulating microRNAs, which are molecules that help cells control what proteins they make. She found that levels of five of these microRNAs were increased in people with ME/CFS compared with control subjects. Furthermore, these five micro-RNAs are all involved in controlling the endothelium, specifically via the pathway that generates nitric oxide. These findings provide more evidence of endothelial dysfunction as a significant factor in the pathology of ME/CFS, but also raise the possibility that these microRNAs may represent biomarkers to distinguish patient groups.

(Description adapted from project website: see link above)

Patient cohort

ME/CFS according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC), compared with healthy controls.

Patients enrolled: 174

Age group: 19 - 58 years (Adults)

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