Fatty Acid Oxidation in ME/CFS Immune Cell Populations

A new publication from the Center on fatty acid oxidation in immune cells has appeared today. Jessica Maya is the lead author of Altered Fatty Acid Oxidation in Lymphocyte Populations of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

As discussed in the paper, there is more evidence for abnormal immunometabolism in ME/CFS. Maya utilized her expertise in flow cytometry and Seahorse flux analysis to demonstrate this dysfunction. She isolated natural killer (NK), helper T (CD4), and cytotoxic T (CD8) cell populations from both healthy donors and people with ME/CFS. These immune cell populations were studied in their circulating state and after stimulation. The stimulation process aims to mimic an immune response. Maya’s findings showed that all three of the cell types have an increased use of fats to power their activities when compared to healthy donors. Her results show that ME/CFS immune cells have a greater reliance on fats for energy when they are stimulated. Overall, these findings support the presence of an altered metabolic state in certain immune cells in individuals with ME/CFS.

Maya outlines these findings in her graphical and video abstracts inserted below.

Graphical abstract by Jessica Maya
Video abstract by Jessica Maya

CDC SEC call on Immune Dysfunction in ME/CFS

On September 23, 2020, a CDC ME/CFS Stakeholder Engagement and Communication (SEC) call took place, featuring a presentation by Dr. Maureen Hanson, ENID Center Director, on “Immune Dysfunction in ME/CFS”. Dr. Elizabeth Unger, Branch Chief of CDC’s Chronic Viral Diseases Branch, provided CDC programmatic updates. The SEC call transcript, audio, and presentation slides are now available on the CDC’s website. Direct links to specific content, including Hanson’s slideshow presentation, are below.

Listen to the audio recording.

Read the transcript.

View Dr. Hanson’s presentation.

Maureen Hanson presents at Cornell COVID-19 Summit 2020

On November 4-5, 2020, Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medicine held a COVID-19 Summit to exchange information about research into the disease ongoing at both institutions. Dr. Maureen Hanson presented a “flash” talk with three slides to introduce Cornell COVID-19 researchers to the similarity between long-haul COVID-19 and ME/CFS. Content from Hanson’s talk is below.

Betsy Keller presents at Swedish RME annual ME/CFS conference 2020

At the Swedish RME annual ME/CFS conference on Oct. 14, 2020, Clinical Core Co-Director, Dr. Betsy Keller, presented virtually on post-exertional malaise (PEM). Keller goes into detail on PEM by covering what it is, ways to assess impairment due to PEM, and strategies to minimize PEM. Her full talk “PEM: Strategies for determining and managing the cardinal symptom of ME/CFS” can be viewed below and is also available on YouTube here.

For an English version of Swedish RME’s website visit this link.

NYSDOH Panel Session on ME/CFS in Age of COVID-19

Center Director Dr. Maureen Hanson will be presenting current scientific research on ME/CFS during a panel session hosted by New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH). The session titled “Scientific Research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the Age of COVID-19” will be moderated by Dr. Charles Gonzalez. Dr. Ian Lipkin (Columbia University) and Dr. Avindra Nath (NIH) will be joining Hanson as panel presenters.

UPDATE: In case you missed the panel discussion, NYS DOH released a recording along with each presenter’s slides. Direct links to the recording and Dr. Hanson’s slides are below. Visit the NYS DOH ME/CFS website for more information.

Where do ME/CFS immune cells get their energy, or ale?

Jessica Maya, a graduate student in the Genetics, Genomics, and Development Program at Cornell University in Maureen Hanson’s lab, talks about ME/CFS, the immune system response, and the fuels that energize immune cells to properly defend the body. This talk was adapted from Cornell University’s 3 Minute Thesis Finalists Round Competition, where she was tasked to explain her thesis work in under 3 minutes in an engaging form that could be understood by an intelligent audience with no background in the research area.

Maureen Hanson provides a Pecha Kucha for ME/CFS

For the ME International Awareness Day, Director Maureen Hanson is providing a Pecha Kucha on ME/CFS.  This is a short video presentation in which 20 slides are presented, automatically changing every 20 seconds.  This format has been developed to convey information quickly in a visual manner (see https://www.pechakucha.com/ for more information).

IACFSME Conference 2022

IACFSME held a virtual medical and scientific research conference on July 27-30, 2022. Our Center presented several talks and participated in the poster session at the conference. Center members Andrew Grimson, Arnaud Germain, Betsy Keller, Geoff Moore, Jessica Maya, and Katie Glass gave oral presentation on topics ranging from immune cell exhaustion to post CPET recovery. Postdoctoral associate, Ludovic Giloteaux, presented a poster on extracellular vesicle proteins in plasma. Details about the conference agenda can be found on the event’s website.

We would also like to announce that Candace Receno, a new collaborator at Ithaca College, and Jessica Maya received the NIH NINDS travel award at this year’s meeting. Congratulations to Candace and Jessica!

International ME/CFS Awareness Day 2022: metabolite disruption in ME/CFS

For International ME/CFS Awareness Day, we would like to announce the official publication of a large metabolomics study from our Center. The work led by Arnaud Germain, PhD, describes results from a longitudinal plasma metabolite study associated with a 2-day cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). Over 100 individuals, including both females and males, were assayed before and after both days of the 2-day CPET. The article is open access in the journal JCI Insight. The quote below, from this publication, does an excellent job at summarizing the study.

Our longitudinal study design has allowed us to identify a number of pathways that diverge between healthy individuals and those with ME/CFS 24 hours after an exercise challenge, at which time patients typically experience PEM. Inability to recover properly after exertion is one of the most disabling symptoms of ME/CFS. Our study provides insight into the metabolic changes that are inimical to proper response to physical effort.

ME/CFS Research Network Webinar Series: ENID Center Update and Panel Discussion

Organized by the Community Advisory Committee of the NIH ME/CFS Centers Network, Hanson’s overview of the ENID Center is followed by a panel discussion led by Susan Taylor-Brown, a patient advocate for our Center and member of the Network’s Community Advisory Committee. Andrew Grimson (single cell transcriptomics lead), Jessica Maya (immune cell metabolism investigator), and Ludovic Giloteaux (extracellular vesicles investigator) join Hanson and Taylor-Brown for a discussion of our research. Topics such as immune dysfunction, extracellular vesicles, and gene expression are covered in this video. 

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