Decreased Expression of the CD57 Molecule in T Lymphocytes of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • P. Espinosa
  • J. M. UrraEmail author


The chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by a prolonged incapacitating fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, and decreases in cognition, besides alterations in other physiological functions. At present, no specific biological markers have been described in this pathology. In the present study, we analyzed in lymphocytes the CD57 expression for the diagnosis of CFS, evaluating both the percentage of blood lymphocytes expressing CD57 and the average amount of the molecule expressed per cell. The study demonstrated a marked and significant decrease in the expression of CD57 in lymphocytes of CFS patients regarding healthy controls. In T lymphocytes, the decrease was significant both in the percentage of cells expressing CD57 (7.5 ± 1.2 vs 13.3 ± 1.6, p = 0.024) and in a more relevant way in the amount of CD57 molecule expressed per cell (331 ± 59 vs 1003 ± 104, p ≤ 0.0001). In non-T lymphocytes, the decrease was significant only in the amount of CD57 expressed per cell (379 ± 114 vs 691 ± 95, p = 0.007). The study of CD57 antigen in blood lymphocytes is a useful marker that could cooperate in the diagnosis of CFS patients. Its decrease in T lymphocytes provides most valuable results than the results in other lymphocyte subpopulations.


Chronic fatigue syndrome CD57 



Chronic fatigue syndrome


Lyme disease



We thank I. Ródenas and M. Ruiz for their technical collaboration in the development of the work. The present study was selected and supported by the research commission of the Hospital General Universitario de Ciudad Real.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Moss-Morris R, Deary V, Castell B (2013) Chronic fatigue syndrome. In: Handbook of clinical neurology. 110:303–314.
  2. 2.
    Bested AC, Marshall LM (2015) Review of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: an evidence-based approach to diagnosis and management by clinicians. Rev Environ Health 30:223–249. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Committee on the Diagnostic Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Board on the Health of Select Populations; Institute of Medicine (2015) Beyond myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: redefining an illness. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. Available from:
  4. 4.
    Collin SM, Bakken IJ, Nazareth I, Crawley E, White PD (2017) Trends in the incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia in the UK, 2001–2013: a clinical practice research datalink study. J R Soc Med 110:231–244. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lorusso L, Mikhaylova SV, Capelli E, Ferrari D, Ngonga GK, Ricevuti G (2009) Immunological aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome. Autoimmun Rev 8:287–291. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brenu EW, van Driel ML, Staines DR, Ashton KJ, Ramos SB, Keane J, Klimas NG, Marshall-Gradisnik SM (2011) Immunological abnormalities as potential biomarkers in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. J Transl Med 9:81. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bradley AS, Ford B, Bansal AS (2013) Altered functional B cell subset populations in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome compared to healthy controls. Clin Exp Immunol 172:73–80. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Focosi D, Bestagno M, Burrone O, Petrini M (2010) CD57+ T lymphocytes and functional immune deficiency. J Leukoc Biol 87:107–116. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stricker RB, Winger EE (2001) Decreased CD57 lymphocyte subset in patients with chronic Lyme disease. Immunol Lett 76:43–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stricker RB, Burrascano J, Winger E (2002) Longterm decrease in the CD57 lymphocyte subset in a patient with chronic Lyme disease. Ann Agric Environ Med 9:111–113PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dattwyler RJ, Arnaboldi PM (2014) Editorial commentary: comparison of Lyme disease serologic assays and Lyme specialty laboratories. Clin Infect Dis 59:1711–1713. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    DeBiasi RL (2014) A concise critical analysis of serologic testing for the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Curr Infect Dis Rep 16:450. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Patrick DM, Miller RR, Gardy JL, Parker SM, Morshed MG, Steiner TS, Singer J, Shojania K et al (2015) Lyme disease diagnosed by alternative methods: a phenotype similar to that of chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin Infect Dis 61:1084–1091. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Carruthers BM (2006) Definitions and aetiology of myalgic encephalomyelitis: how the Canadian consensus clinical definition of myalgic encephalomyelitis works. J Clin Pathol 60:117–119. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Carruthers BM, van de Sande MI, De Meirleir KL et al (2011) Myalgic encephalomyelitis: international consensus criteria. J Intern Med 270:327–338. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cabrera CM, Urra JM, Alfaya T, Roca FDL, Feo-Brito F (2014) Expression of Th1, Th2, lymphocyte trafficking and activation markers on CD4+ T-cells of Hymenoptera allergic subjects and after venom immunotherapy. Mol Immunol 62:178–185. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Montoya JG, Holmes TH, Anderson JN, Maecker HT, Rosenberg-Hasson Y, Valencia IJ, Chu L, Younger JW et al (2017) Cytokine signature associated with disease severity in chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:E7150–E7158. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Curriu M, Carrillo J, Massanella M, Rigau J, Alegre J, Puig J, Garcia-Quintana AM, Castro-Marrero J et al (2013) Screening NK-, B- and T-cell phenotype and function in patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. J Transl Med 11:68. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Le Priol Y, Puthier D, Lécureuil C et al (2006) High cytotoxic and specific migratory potencies of senescent CD8+ CD57+ cells in HIV-infected and uninfected individuals. J Immunol 177:5145–5154CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ImmunologyHospital General Universitario de Ciudad RealCiudad RealSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Medicina de Ciudad RealUniversidad de Castilla la Mancha (UCLM)Ciudad RealSpain

Personalised recommendations