Immune System function depends on genetics - new study


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
This study is hot off the press. The gist is that our immune system function is dependent on our genetics...

Genetic Architecture of the Immune System

Hoping that this catches the eye of ME/CFS researchers...
Interesting study. BIG twin study! Really high heritability - probably why autoimmune diseases are so heritable. Note though that innate immune problems - which seem to happen more in ME/CFS - are more effected by the environment - by the infections we get, etc.

Here we analyse 23,394 immune phenotypes in 497 adult female twins. 76% of these traits show a predominantly heritable influence, whereas 24% are mostly influenced by environment. These data highlight the importance of shared childhood environmental influences such as diet, infections or microbes in shaping immune homeostasis for monocytes, B1 cells, γδ T cells and NKT cells, whereas dendritic cells, B2 cells, CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells are more influenced by genetics. Although leukocyte subsets are influenced by genetics and environment, adaptive immune traits are more affected by genetics, whereas innate immune traits are more affected by environment.

it is possible that variation in innate or innate like cells (for example, NKT, MAIT and γδ T cells) is more influenced by exposure to infections, microbes and other immunological insults.

This could be ME/CFS - again highlighting infections and the changes they cause

Examination of these trends reveals common threads. For example, the predilection towards a shared environmental influence of CD4 polarization markers (for example, Th1 versus Th2 polarization), NKT cells, Vδ1T cells and B1 cells is likely to be due to a shared exposure to microbial products during childhood/adolescence: either through microbiome or common infections. Many of these cell types bridge the span between the innate and the adaptive immune system12 and have been postulated to have functional roles in the immunity to common bacterial or parasitic infections.


Active Member

I suspect there's a grand theory of everything somewhere, with other dials on the dashboard being mitochondria, the CNS, lipids, hormones, Phase I-III detox pathways, and our load of non-self creatures which are producing the kind of outputs Naviaux, Armstrong, and the many other researchers are finding.

Humans were built to withstand a lot of environmental insults, however in my own adventures with genetics, it's been clear that some of us were born to be the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. We can do a lot to mitigate what we are born with, but first we need to understand the dynamics of the problem.

Recent developments are exciting - I hope researchers have the opportunity to work the problem from both ends... The biomarkers are the right start, but what mechanisms in these flawed immune function genes switch us into CFS, and cause all our weird biomarkers and symptoms, and how can we reverse the process and make these genes behave better to become healthy, with normal immune function?

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