Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a debilitating condition of unknown aetiology. It is characterized by a range of physiological effects including neurological, sensory and motor disturbances. This study examined candidate genes for the above clinical manifestations to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) alleles associated with CFS/ME compared with healthy controls.
DNA was extracted and whole genome genotyping was performed using the HumanOmniExpress BeadChip array. Gene families for transient receptor potential ion channels, acetylcholine receptors, and adrenergic receptors, and acetylcholinesterase were targeted. The frequency of each SNP and their association between CFS/ME and healthy controls was examined using Fisher’s exact test, and to adjust for multiple testing, False Detection Rate (FDR) and Bonferroni corrections were applied (p < 0.05).
The study included 172 participants, consisting of 95 Fukuda defined CFS/ME patients (45.8 ± 8.9; 69 % female) and 77 healthy controls (42.3 ± 10.3; 63 % female). A total of 950 SNPs were included for analysis. 60 significant SNPs were associated with CFS/ME compared with healthy controls. After applying FDR and Bonferroni corrections, SNP rs2322333 in adrenergic receptor α1 (ADRA1A) was higher in CFS/ME compared with healthy controls (45.3 % vs. 23.4 %; p = 0.059). The genotype class that was homozygous minor (AA) was substantially lower in CFS/ME compared with healthy controls (4.2 % vs. 24.7 %).
This study reports for the first time the identification of ADRA1A and a possible association between CFS/ME and genotype classes. Further examination of the functional role of this class of adrenergic receptors may elucidate the cause of particular clinical manifestations observed in CFS/ME.
A targeted genome association study examining transient receptor potential ion channels, acetylcholine receptors, and adrenergic receptors in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, by Johnston S, Staines D, Klein A, Marshall-Gradisnik S in BMC Med Genet. 2016 Nov 11;17(1):79.