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Cytokine profiling of extracellular vesicles isolated from plasma in ME/CFS: a pilot study, 2020, Giloteaux, Levine, Hanson et al

Discussion in 'ME/CFS research' started by Kalliope, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Cytokine profiling of extracellular vesicles isolated from plasma in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot study
    Ludovic Giloteaux, Adam O'Neal, Jesús Castro-Marrero, Susan M. Levine & Maureen R. Hanson

    Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating disease of unknown etiology lasting for a minimum of 6 months but usually for many years, with features including fatigue, cognitive impairment, myalgias, post-exertional malaise, and immune system dysfunction. Dysregulation of cytokine signaling could give rise to many of these symptoms. Cytokines are present in both plasma and extracellular vesicles, but little investigation of EVs in ME/CFS has been reported. Therefore, we aimed to characterize the content of extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated from plasma (including circulating cytokine/chemokine profiling) from individuals with ME/CFS and healthy controls.

    We included 35 ME/CFS patients and 35 controls matched for age, sex and BMI. EVs were enriched from plasma by using a polymer-based precipitation method and characterized by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and immunoblotting. A 45-plex immunoassay was used to determine cytokine levels in both plasma and isolated EVs from a subset of 19 patients and controls. Linear regression, principal component analysis and inter-cytokine correlations were analyzed.

    ME/CFS individuals had significantly higher levels of EVs that ranged from 30 to 130 nm in size as compared to controls, but the mean size for total extracellular vesicles did not differ between groups. The enrichment of typical EV markers CD63, CD81, TSG101 and HSP70 was confirmed by Western blot analysis and the morphology assessed by TEM showed a homogeneous population of vesicles in both groups. Comparison of cytokine concentrations in plasma and isolated EVs of cases and controls yielded no significant differences. Cytokine-cytokine correlations in plasma revealed a significant higher number of interactions in ME/CFS cases along with 13 inverse correlations that were mainly driven by the Interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10), whereas in the plasma of controls, no inverse relationships were found across any of the cytokines. Network analysis in EVs from controls showed 2.5 times more significant inter-cytokine interactions than in the ME/CFS group, and both groups presented a unique negative association.


    Elevated levels of 30-130 nm EVs were found in plasma from ME/CFS patients and inter-cytokine correlations revealed unusual regulatory relationships among cytokines in the ME/CFS group that were different from the control group in both plasma and EVs. These disturbances in cytokine networks are further evidence of immune dysregulation in ME/CFS.
  2. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    cfsandmore, sebaaa, Michelle and 12 others like this.
  3. mango

    mango Senior Member (Voting Rights)

  4. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    So now the next question would be what characterizes EVs of 30-130 nm.

    There will definitely be no shortage of preliminary research to build upon if and when the money finally happens.

    Research that open up new questions is always the most interesting. It just sucks that the normal way of doing things doesn't apply to us, but definitely once things get serious there will be a very fertile field to till and plant on.
    cfsandmore, sebaaa, andypants and 7 others like this.
  5. Simon M

    Simon M Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    What I like most about this #mecfs paper is researchers doing a pilot study in order to improve the quality of their final studies. Will be excited to see how this work pans out in the pre/post exercise studies to come.

    Note that the cytokine study only had a sample size of 19 patients/controls.

    Pity about the lack of difference in cytokine concentrations.

    I do wonder if the cytokines – cytokine correlations will replicate in larger samples, but let’s see. And I am hopeful that testing before and after exercise will provide insight.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
    boolybooly, sebaaa, Michelle and 14 others like this.
  6. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Hampshire, UK
    But, as Simon points out above, cytokines of only 19 and 19 were analysed.
    sebaaa, Michelle, Mij and 10 others like this.
  7. Hoopoe

    Hoopoe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I have the impression the authors are hoping that a more focused study could reveal greater differences and turn some of the findings that were not statistically significant after correcting for multiple comparisons into significant ones.

    This sounds like it could be the most abnormal finding in the study.

    What is an inter-cytokine correlation exactly?
    sebaaa, Michelle, andypants and 6 others like this.
  8. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I wonder what factors determine the size distribution of EVs, and if any other conditions show a distribution like the one they found.

    I did find this overview of EVs, but it seems a bit "above my pay grade" on first glance.

    Overview of Extracellular Vesicles, Their Origin, Composition, Purpose, and Methods for Exosome Isolation and Analysis
    sebaaa, alktipping, Michelle and 4 others like this.

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