Immune Exhaustion

Strike me lucky

Well-Known Member
Although robust and highly effective anti-viral T cells contribute to the clearance of many acute infections, viral persistence is associated with the development of functionally inferior, exhausted, T cell responses. Exhaustion develops in a step-wise and progressive manner, ranges in severity, and can culminate in the deletion of the anti-viral T cells. This disarming of the response is consequential as it compromises viral control and potentially serves to dampen immune-mediated damage. Exhausted T cells are unable to elaborate typical anti-viral effector functions. They are characterized by the sustained upregulation of inhibitory receptors and display a gene expression profile that distinguishes them from prototypic effector and memory T cell populations. In this review we discuss the properties of exhausted T cells; the virological and immunological conditions that favor their development; the cellular and molecular signals that sustain the exhausted state; and strategies for preventing and reversing exhaustion to favor viral control.

The above article is in relation to HIV and Hep B, I think its very possibly related to cfs/me sub group who have ongoing chronic infections.
This article and others i have read its seems immune exhaustion is when nk/t cell numbers drop after a chronic infection or the numbers remain but are produced immaturely which causes them to function at a much lower level or maybe not much at all.

The low NK function findings in cfs/me might definitely fit this, also because a diagnosis of cfs/me isnt given until 6 months and for many, it can be years, most would be in this immune exhaustion state. Griffith university in Australia have also found low cd8 t cell function in many cfs/me patients. So i think as a sub group cfs/me with either or low nk function and cd8 t cell function, and or low nk numbers and low cd8 numbers, is probably a sign of immune exhaustion.

There does seem to be a group of cfsme people who have high nk numbers and t cell counts and these cells function well. I just wonder if this group has a tendency for auto immune issues, as there immune system is switched on high alert and their immune system is functioning well. Could this group be the rituximab responders??

Could the immune exhaustion group be those who are helped by treating certain infections or helped by something like ampligen, which is suppose to improve immune cell function????



Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Very interesting Strike Me....It makes sense to me. It makes sense, if the T-cells are exhausted that they NK cells are as well - they're apparently kissing cousins - very similar in some ways with each others.

It fits with the later duration Lipkin findings. The same cytokines that were up early in the disease - were down later in it: that sure sounds like exhaustion or depletion.

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