On the 5th, 15th and/or 25th of each month, we”ll post 5 “picks” selected by researchers, physicians, policymakers, other professionals, patients, advocates and caregivers. These picks represent articles, books, websites, films, etc. that they have chosen as particularly interesting, compelling or descriptive of science — either in general or in an area in which they have an active interest.
This feature is modeled after the Weekly Picks made by the hosts of “This Week in Virology” and we”re honored to have Dr. Vincent Racaniello make the very first Research1st pick. We invited picks from a few of the speakers at the recent NIH ME/CFS State of the Knowledge Workshop.
1. “My pick for you is David Dobb”s blog. He writes on science, culture, nature, and medicine, with a wonderful style.”
Web address: http://daviddobbs.net/articles/
Vincent Racaniello, PhD
Higgins Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Co-host of “This Week in Virology,” “This Week in Parasitism” and “This Week in Bacteriology”
Host of virology blog
2. “I study mast cells and their role in autoimmune and neuroinflammatory diseases. I believe mast cells play an important role in CFS. Here is an important article published last year by a group in China that shows how mast cells, the microglial cells of the brain and pain hypersensitivity might be linked.”
Theoharis C. Theoharides, MS, PhD, MD, FAAAAI
Professor of Pharmacology, Internal Medicine and Biochemistry
Director, Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery Laboratory
Department of Molecular Physiology and Pharmacology
Tufts University School of Medicine
3. “I would recommend Alan Light”s 2009 Journal of Pain paper looking at mRNA of receptors on white blood cells as a highlight for me. Light and colleagues addressed a critical aspect of CFS – post-exertion malaise (PEM). Previous studies had attempted to characterize the phenomenon and consequences of PEM in CFS, but this study was one of the first promising mechanistic studies. Based on their previous work examining receptors for Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, hydrogen ions and vanilloid/heat receptors on mouse sensory neurons, Light and colleagues took a novel approach and examined messenger RNA (mRNA) for these same receptors on white blood cells of CFS patients and controls. Measures were taken both prior to and following moderately intense exercise. CFS patients did not differ from controls at baseline but had significantly enhanced expression of these receptors post-exercise. Increases in mRNA expression were significantly and positively related to symptoms of pain and fatigue post exercise. This study emphasized the importance of fatigue provocation in CFS research and provided a potential objective biological mechanism in support of the patients’ subjective experience. Perhaps more importantly, the increases in mRNA for receptors involved in pain (and perhaps fatigue) signaling may act to maintain or exacerbate a patients symptoms and therefore provide a target for therapeutic intervention trials.”
Article Title: Moderate exercise increases expression for sensory, adrenergic and immune genes in chronic fatigue syndrome patients, but not in normal subjects
Journal & Issue: Journal of Pain. 2009 October; 10(10): 1099–1112.
Authors: Light AT, White AT, Hughen, Light KC
Dane B. Cook, Ph.D.
Department of Kinesiology
University of Wisconsin – Madison
4. “My pick is a paper that reviews therapies directed at restoring natural killer (NK) cell function in a variety of illnesses. NK cell dysfunction in ME/CFS has been shown in several studies and interestingly this paper mentions Ampligen as a toll-like receptor-3 (TLR3) agonist among others. (See right hand column on pg 491.)”
Article Title: Natural killer cell-directed therapies: moving from unexpected results to successful strategies
Journal & Issue: Nature Immunology. 2008 May;9(5):486-94. Review.
Authors: Terme M, Ullrich E, Delahaye NF, Chaput N, Zitvogel L.
5. “A genetically transmitted disease may be triggered by specific environmental cues if these potential coding regions become expressed due to similar promoter region. For example, in Crohn’s disease, one in three people have a mutated gene Atg16L1, and yet Crohn’s occurs in only about 500,000 Americans. Most interesting research has been published by Cadwell et al., who found that three factors were necessary in mice to create a condition similar to the human bowel disorder Crohn”s disease: a mutated gene, exposure to a damaging chemical and infection with a specific virus. This research has considerable implications for our field.”
Article Title: Virus plus susceptibility gene interaction determines Crohn”s disease gene Atg16L1 phenotypes in intestine.
Journal & Issue: Cell. Volume 141, Issue 7, 1135-1145, 25 June 2010
Authors: Cadwell K, Patel KK, Maloney NS, Liu T-C, Ng ACY, Storer CE, Head RD, Xavier R, Stappenbeck TS, Virgin HW.
Leonard A. Jason, PhD
Center for Community Research
Look for our next set of picks on June 5. We’ll encourage folks to consider picks that are open access. Keep in mind that some of the top-rated journals are subscription-based and we don’t want to miss out on important articles that might shape thinking and the field.