ME/CFS Research Foundation Logo

Evidence and Effect of Serum Factors in Patients with ME/CFS after COVID-19 on Endothelial Cell Function In Vitro


Principal investigator:
Study start:
Not available
Completion (planned):
Not available
Last update:


Research types:
Basic research
Research areas:
Cardiovascular dysfunction
Not applicable
Priv. Sector Partner:
Not available

Project description

In post-COVID ME/CFS patients, endothelial dysfunction can be detected. However, the mechanism of dysregulated vascular function is not fully understood. Preliminary studies have indicated that auto-antibodies against endothelial cells, but also other factors in the serum, may play a role in the development of endothelial dysfunction in PCS patients without and with ME/CFS (PCS/CFS). It has also recently been shown that an altered nitric oxide (NO) production by endothelial cells contributes to endothelial dysfunction.

The aim of this project was to develop an understanding of the pathomechanism of disturbed vascular function in PCS/CFS. This was done by measuring NO production by endothelial cells after serum treatment (patients and control subjects). Furthermore, the connection between NO production and the factors released by endothelial cells, as well as the disturbed vascular function in PCS and PCS/CFS were determined. The results indicate that NO production of endothelial cells is verifiable via a green fluorescent dye. The intensity of the fluorescence and thus NO production in the stimulated endothelial cells is higher than that of untreated cells. The addition of inhibitors reduces NO production of endothelial cells and thus the coloring. It was hence possible to establish an approach to determine NO in endothelial cells after incubation with inhibitor and stimulators in serum of both patients and controls.

Looking ahead, the project aims to further establish NO determination in endothelial cells after incubation with inhibitor and stimulators and in the presence of patient or control serum. In order to do so, analyses of patient sera from two time points (6 and 12 months) will be conducted. Future implications of this research include establishing a correlation of NO synthesis and released endothelial cell factors as well as reviewing selected markers for endothelial dysfunction.

(Description adapted from project website: see link above)

Patient cohort

Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS), including post-COVID ME/CFS, compared with healthy controls.

Patients enrolled: Not available

Age group: Not available

Research areas (2)
Research types (1)
Research networks (0)
Working groups (1)
People (2)
Publications (0)
Organisations (1)