Recent studies provide some evidence for the contribution of antibody-mediated autoimmune mechanisms to the nature of fibromyalgia (FM) and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Much attention was paid to the autoantibodies (AAb) targeting G protein-coupled receptors as natural components of the immune system. However, the natural AAb network is much more extensive, and has not been previously investigated in these disorders. The enzyme immunoassays ELI-Viscero-Test and ELI-Neuro-Test were used to determine changes in serum content of 33 natural AAb to neural, organ-specific and non-tissue-specific autoantigens (a) in 11 ME/CFS patients with comorbid FM; (b) in 11 ME/CFS patients without FM; (c) in 11 healthy controls. Individual AAb profiles and their correlation with some clinical symptoms were analyzed. Both patients with ME/CFS(−)FM and ME/CFS(+)FM were characterized by more frequent and pronounced deviations in the immunoreactivity to GABA-receptors than healthy controls. Although the level of other natural AAb did not differ between study groups, AAb correlation signatures were altered in patients compared to healthy controls. Both in patients and healthy controls the level of natural AAb to various neural and tissue-specific antigens correlated with the severity of fatigue, bodily pain, depression, anxiety, physical and mental health-related quality of life. Notably, widely different correlation patterns were observed between study groups. Findings from this pilot study provide some evidence that the homeostasis of autoimmune relationships, which are possibly a physiological part of our immune system, may be altered in FM and ME/CFS. The correlation of disease-induced perturbations in individual AAb profiles with some clinical symptoms may arise from the immune system’s ability to reflect qualitative and quantitative changes in antigenic composition of the body.
- myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome