Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 160–166 | Cite as

Elevation of Bioactive Transforming Growth Factor-β in Serum from Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Adrienne L. Bennett
  • Chun C. Chao
  • Shuxian Hu
  • Dedra Buchwald
  • Laura R. Fagioli
  • Peter H. Schur
  • Phillip K. Peterson
  • Anthony L. Komaroff


The level of bioactive transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was measured in serum from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), healthy control subjects, and patients with major depression, systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE), and multiple sclerosis (MS) of both the relapsing/remitting (R/R) and the chronic progressive (CP) types. Patients with CFS had significantly higher levels of bioactive TGF-β levels compared to the healthy control, major depression, SLE, R/R MS, and CP MS groups (P < 0.01). Additionally, no significant differences were found between the healthy control subjects and any of the disease comparison groups. The current finding that TGF-β is significantly elevated among patients with CFS supports the findings of two previous studies examining smaller numbers of CFS patients. In conclusion, TGF-β levels were significantly higher in CFS patients compared to patients with various diseases known to be associated with immunologic abnormalities and/or pathologic fatigue. These findings raise interesting questions about the possible role of TGF-β in the pathogenesis of CFS.

Transforming growth factor-β chronic fatigue syndrome major depression systemic lupus erythematosis multiple sclerosis 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne L. Bennett
    • 1
  • Chun C. Chao
    • 2
  • Shuxian Hu
    • 2
  • Dedra Buchwald
    • 3
  • Laura R. Fagioli
    • 1
  • Peter H. Schur
    • 4
  • Phillip K. Peterson
    • 2
  • Anthony L. Komaroff
    • 1
  1. 1.Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Cooperative Research Center and Division of General Medicine and Primary CareBrigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical SchoolBoston
  2. 2.Department of MedicineHennepin County Medical Center, Neuroimmunobiology and Host Defense Laboratory, Minneapolis Medical Research Center, and University of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolis
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
  4. 4.Lupus Center, Division of Rheumatology and ImmunologyBrigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical SchoolBoston

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