Unravelling the nature of postexertional malaise in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: the role of elastase, complement C4a and interleukin-1beta.J Intern Med. 2010 Apr; 267(4):418-35.JI
Too vigorous exercise or activity increase frequently triggers postexertional malaise in people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a primary characteristic evident in up to 95% of people with ME/CFS. The present study aimed at examining whether two different types of exercise results in changes in health status, circulating elastase activity, interleukin (IL)-1beta and complement C4a levels.
Comparative experimental design.
Twenty-two women with ME/CFS and 22 healthy sedentary controls
participants were subjected to a submaximal exercise (day 8) and a self-paced, physiologically limited exercise (day 16). Each bout of exercise was preceded and followed by blood sampling, actigraphy and assessment of their health status.
Both submaximal exercise and self-paced, physiologically limited exercise resulted in postexertional malaise in people with ME/CFS. However, neither exercise bout altered elastase activity, IL-1beta or complement C4a split product levels in people with ME/CFS or healthy sedentary control subjects (P > 0.05). Postexercise complement C4a level was identified as a clinically important biomarker for postexertional malaise in people with ME/CFS.
Submaximal exercise as well as self-paced, physiologically limited exercise triggers postexertional malaise in people with ME/CFS, but neither types of exercise alter acute circulating levels of IL-1beta, complement C4a split product or elastase activity. Further studying of immune alterations in relation to postexertional malaise in people with ME/CFS using multiple measurement points postexercise is required.