Matthew Sorenson, Leonard Jason, Jonna Peterson, Joshua Herrington and Herbert Mathews
This study examined the levels of a major regulator of neuronal survival, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in two populations: individuals with multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. BDNF is a protein involved in the maintenance and maturation of both peripheral and central neurons. In patients with multiple sclerosis, BDNF expression is often decreased and believed to reflect ineffective repair mechanisms. s a reliminary exploration, we examined the production of BDNF on the part of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in three groups: patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS [n=15]), patients with multiple sclerosis n=57), and a set of putatively healthy controls (n=37).
Methods: Mononuclear cells were extracted from peripheral blood samples and cultured for 48 hours. Production of BDNF was evaluated from phyto-aemagglutinin (PHA) and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) stimulated and unstimulated cells. BDNF levels were determined using a commercially available enzyme linked immuno absorbent assay (sensitivity: 2.5-4,000 pg/mL). Results: Both CFS and MS samples displayed nearly identical levels of BDNF, levels that were 25 percent of that displayed by the healthy control sample. For unstimulated cells, the BDNF values ere 404.71 pg/ml for the CFS sample, 573.33 pg/ml for the MS sample and 1,114.15 pg/ml for the control sample. For stimulated cells, the BDNF values were 442.55 pg/ml for the CFS sample, 367.33 pg/ml for the timulated MS sample, and 1432.24 pg/ml for the stimulated control sample.
Conclusion: The decreased production of BDNF on the part of MS patients is consistent with the literature. However, the decreased roduction in those with CFS was unexpected and a novel finding. This finding could reflect a reduced ability to maintain neuronal structure and function in those with CFS. Future studies are needed to evaluate for neuronal damage in those with CFS