Recent evidence suggests immune and inflammatory alterations are important in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This study was done to explore the association of functionally important genetic variants in inflammation and immune pathways with CFS.
Peripheral blood DNA was isolated from 50 CFS and 121 non-fatigued (NF) control participants in a population-based study. Genotyping was performed with the Affymetrix Immune and Inflammation Chip that covers 11 K single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) following the manufacturer’s protocol. Genotyping accuracy for specific genes was validated by pyrosequencing.
Golden Helix SVS software was used for genetic analysis. SNP functional annotation was done using SPOT and GenomePipe programs.
CFS was associated with 32 functionally important SNPs: 11 missense variants, 4 synonymous variants, 11 untranslated regulatory region (UTR) variants and 6 intronic variants. Some of these SNPs were in genes within pathways related to complement cascade (SERPINA5, CFB, CFH, MASP1 and C6), chemokines (CXCL16, CCR4, CCL27), cytokine signaling (IL18, IL17B, IL2RB), and toll-like receptor signaling (TIRAP, IRAK4).
Of particular interest is association of CFS with two missense variants in genes of complement activation, rs4151667 (L9H) in CFB and rs1061170 (Y402H) in CFH. A 5′ UTR polymorphism (rs11214105) in IL18 also associated with physical fatigue, body pain and score for CFS case defining symptoms.
This study identified new associations of CFS with genetic variants in pathways including complement activation providing additional support for altered innate immune response in CFS. Additional studies are needed to validate the findings of this exploratory study.
Pathway-focused genetic evaluation of immune and inflammation related genes with chronic fatigue syndrome, by Mangalathu S Rajeevan, Irina Dimulescu, Janna Murray, Virginia R. Falkenberg, Elizabeth R. Unger in Human Immunology, 24 June 2015