Immunological response in chronic fatigue syndrome following a graded exercise test to exhaustion

John J. LaManca, Sue Ann Sisto, Xia Di Zhou, John E. Ottenweller, Sean Cook, Arnold Peckerman, Quanwu Zhang, Thomas N. Denny, William C. Gause, Benjamin H. Natelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to evaluate the immunological response to an exhaustive treadmill exercise test in 20 female chronic fatigue syndrome patients compared to 14 matched sedentary controls. Venipuncture was performed at baseline and 4 min, 1 hr, and 24 hr postexercise. White blood cells were labeled for monoclonal antibody combinations and were quantified by FACsan. Cytokines were assayed utilizing quantitative RT/PCR. No group difference was seen in V̇O(2(peak)) (28.6 ± 1.6 vs 30.9 ± 1.2 ml · kg- 1 · min-1; P > 0.05). However, 24 hr after exercise the patients' fatigue levels were significantly increased (P < 0.05). The counts of WBC, CD3+CD8+ cells, CD3+CD4+ cells, T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, and IFN-γ, changed across time (P's < 0.01). No group differences were seen for any of the immune variables at baseline or after exercise (P's > 0.05). The immune response of chronic fatigue syndrome patients to exhaustive exercise is not significantly different from that of healthy nonphysically active controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Exercise
  • Gene expression
  • Immunology
  • Sedentary


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