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Research Line Focused on ME/CFS


Working group head:
FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences


Research types:
Basic research




Since 2018 to date, Francisco Westermeier leads a research line focused on ME/CFS, a complex post-infection disease characterized by severe fatigue and exercise intolerance. Since ME/CFS is associated with endothelial dysfunction (ED), his research line is focused on investigating potential cellular mechanisms underlying vascular abnormalities. Supported by ME Research UK and Solve ME (USA), the research group has reported that a set of microRNAs (miRs) – described to reduce the production of nitric oxide (NO) by endothelial cells (ECs) – is increased in plasma from ME/CFS patients. In fact, they recently complemented those findings by showing that plasma from the same cohort of affected patients reduced the ability of ECs to produce NO. This evidence was also linked to impaired activity of the endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), the enzyme responsible to produce NO in ECs. Currently, the group is trying to move one step forward by evaluating several hormonal and metabolic pathways that might be responsible for the reduced eNOS activity in ME/CFS. (Description adapted from working group website: see link above)
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