mitochondria and viruses etc

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by simonedb, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    I have been really intrigued by the mitochondria info here I read in last week or so and i am curious if anyone knows how it might tie in with viruses?
  2. Jayna

    Jayna New Member

    If the mitos aren't producing enough energy to run the basic body systems effectively, that includes the energy to run the anti-viral defenses.
  3. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I posted this in its entirety on the Mitochondria and ME thread.

    This research is from 2005.

    "Working with cultured cells, researchers found that the protein, made by a gene they discovered and named MAVS, is located in an unexpected place within the cell - in the membrane of an organelle called the mitochondrion, which until now was best known for generating energy required for daily life.

    "This is the first mitochondrial protein known to be involved in immune defense against any microbial infection," said Dr. Zhijian "James" Chen, associate professor of molecular biology at UT Southwestern and the study's senior author. "This discovery puts mitochondria on the map in terms of immunity, and it opens up a new avenue of research in immunology."

    The researchers modified normal cells so that the cells could not produce the MAVS protein, which is short for Mitochondrial Anti-Viral Signaling protein. Without MAVS, the cells were highly vulnerable to infection with two common viruses in a class called RNA viruses Other RNA viruses include hepatitis C, West Nile, SARS and the flu viruses."
  4. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    kewl, will go read the other thread.
    but so, where should focus be? mitochondria or viruses, viral stuff is all the rage :)
  5. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    because my illness started with a virus, i am just convinced that a chronic virus is causing all my problems.

    but why did the virus become chronic in my body?

    dr. lerner feels that we do have a genetic defect...but i am not sure anyone knows what it is at this point...
  6. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Human herpes viruses can reactivate in anyone given the right conditions -- illness, stress, injury... which may overwhelm the immune system's ability to keep them dormant.

    When I had the triggering flu-like illness, I initially tested negative for mono. Months later I had very high mono titres. A few months later, I tested positive for Hep. I was not aware of ever having either. (A few years ago I tested positive for active HHV6.)

    It is likely that I had both mono and hep in a dormant condition until I got the "flu" that damaged my immune system (or whatever it was that happened) allowing these viruses to duplicate enough to show up on tests.

    I have no idea, however, if they have ever caused my symptoms. They may simply be a measure of a faulty immune system.

    That's my take right now. I know it's pretty fundamental but, just in case you hadn't noticed :~) I'm no scientist!

    Peace out,
  7. banya

    banya New Member

    Ladybug, I'm inclined to agree with Dr. Lerner. Mostly because if you were normal (not genetically compromised) you'd probably recover from that virus that others were exposed to and recovered from.

    I know it's confusing. I'm pretty sure my symptoms are genetic, but I still have lingering doubts and wonder if it would be wise to persue the virus route. I think the problem is that most of us have gone one way or the other and few have been tested for both.

    I was reading (again) Dr. Bells paper which says that most CFS suffers have enough damage to the mitochondria to be considered a mitochondrial disease. I (again) don't know what to think. I had a muscle biopsy and there was no apparent damage to the mitochondria - at least in the small piece of muscle that was taken - BUT there was a significant loss of CoQ10 in that muscle. And a coQ10 deficiency is considered to be a mitochondrial disease. They couldn't find the a genetic defect but that would be asking a lot as most of the genetic mutations haven't yet been identified. They've made significant progress over the last few years though and may be time to test again.

    One other test I had was the exercise test, although I didn't do it in the same way that Dr. Bell mentioned... with a follow up one the next day. I had two tests a week apart. My results were interesting. Here is what Dr. Bell said about this:

    It is on the second day that interesting results are seen. The same test was repeated the following day for all 12 subjects. As is often the case, sedentary controls improved slightly in their ability to utilize oxygen, going from 28.4 to 28.9 ml/kg/min for VO2max and from 17.55 to 18.00 ml/kg/min for oxygen utilization at anaerobic threshold. The CFS patients however worsened in both categories: VO2max fell 22% from 26.23 to 20.47 ml/kg/min, and oxygen utilization at anaerobic threshold fell 27%, from 15.01 to 11.01 ml/kg/min.

    To put this into perspective, these values are in the “severe disability” range on the AMA guidelines, and the decline in function from day one to day two cannot be explained by inactivity.

    Sedentary or de-conditioned persons do not change their oxygen utilization

    SO from this I guess I should consider myself severely disabled (although I'm still struggling to work) and haven't applied for disability. I never realized it - that with a VO2 max of 20.47 one would be considered severely disabled. My VO2 max was 9.8 !!! Sounds like disability would be a slam dunk for me, but who knows. I'm just shaking my head as the first thing my new doc asked after seeing this test was - "you're not planning on filing for disability or anything are you"? Ha. What do they just not like doing the paperwork?

    Anyway, sorry to get distracted from the topic. It is indeed very confusing and as a patient I think we just get tired of all the tests not really knowing if the results are the true primary condition or just a side effect.

  8. banya

    banya New Member

    Scientist or not, I think your take on this makes a lot of sense. I doubt you would get a better answer unless you took the genetic tests which may uncover a specific mutation.
  9. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    wow! those are some very sophisticated tests you have had!

    are you in any treatment?

    thank you
  10. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    have you said who you are working with? why did your doctor run the test if they dont want to help you if you would want to try for disability?
  11. banya

    banya New Member

    Yes, I'm taking 600mg a day of CoQ10, carnitor (script for L-carnitine) B100, and E vitamins. There are a few other scripts which are specific to my symptoms and no different than any other patient. No magic pills, that's for sure, but I've seen a fairly significant amount of improvement.

  12. banya

    banya New Member

    It's kind of a long story, but I was bounced between several doctors (my pcp left her practice) and I started referring myself to specialists. I managed to get many of the tests done through a pulmonary doctor who I had completely stumped, as all the tests I had done were normal, except for the last one.

    The exercise test she eventually ordered was very seldom used and I think a last resort - we were running out of ideas. It took several weeks to track down someone who did this. Those results turned out to be extremely abnormal and also included bloodwork which showed I had low levels of carnitine. I researched that and realized I may be dealing with a mitochondrial disease of carnitine deficiency so I contact the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation for information and started in that direction.

    It was about eight months before I managed to get the biopsy and a few months to get the results. I didn't bother looking for a new pcp until the results were in because at this point I was learning that adding more confused doctors to the picture just wasn't helping.

    It was the new primary care doctor who wasn't thrilled with taking on a patient who may be applying for disability.

  13. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    what tests did the mito assoc. recommend?
    I am seeing a new supposedly open-minded doc tomorrow I am thinking of switching to for my pcp as my old one doesnt like to do anything for me, I have been pondering what tests I would want to ask for.
    there are so many different approaches to take to try to figure this out that its a bit overwhelming what to focus on first.
  14. banya

    banya New Member

    It is overwhelming, I agree. You might start out by asking if the doctor is familiar with mitochondrial disease. I'd be surprised if he was, but you never know. Mention that you believe you may have a problem related to mitochondrial function and ask if he's open to doing some tests which would be an indication of that.

    Diagnostic Indicators
    Physical Exam
    Lactate, pyruvate (blood; ±CSF)
    Amino Acids (serum, urine; ±CSF)
    Organic Acids (urine)
    Carnitine & Acyl Carnitine
    Eye exam
    Blood for mtDNA (if you know what you are looking for… search and detect missions blindly have less of a chance in finding the mutation)
    Blood for nuclear DNA (limited availability, only a few defects have been identified)
    Muscle for mtDNA (same as above)
    Muscle of OXPHOX analysis (spectrophotometry or polarography)
    Muscle of immunologic staining of mtCOX subunits and nCOX subunits
    Fibroblast Culture for OXPHOS analysis
    [This Message was Edited on 10/20/2008]
  15. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    It's so good to see you again!

    What a wealth of information you have. We are very lucky to have you hear answering all our questions.

    I am going to go through all your answers again. Thanks, especially, for the list of useful tests.

    At some point in my illness, about 10 years ago, a doc I was seeing suggested a muscle biopsy and I declined. (Not happy about that right now:~) I thought they were going off in a new direction and I felt pretty sure that I had ME and not a muscle disease. I knew nothing about mitochondria, of course.

    Thanks again for the mito lessons!

    I hope you are moving through...

    Peace to you,
  16. banya

    banya New Member

    Thanks. I was having problems finding and searching past messages in the new board. Then when I wrote a few very long posts they seemed to dissappear when I hit the submit key. Maybe because I'm such a slow writer that I get timed out ;-)

    I'm happy to share my experience and just maybe it will be of some benefit to someone else. What I found most stressful, not just being ill - but the second guessing you go through in all the decisions regarding getting a diagnosis.

    Should I get a biopsy? What kind should I get (needle, fresh muscle, frozen muscle, skin)? Who does this best? Some docs suggest the genetic tests for known mutations first (blood tests).

    I've noticed that the general feeling of most neurologists is to discourage their patients from getting these tests. I've recommended my neuro to several people and they came back and told me that he didn't see the point in testing for something that there is currently no cure for. Actually what he said was no cure OR proven treatment for. Aaarghh!!! Didn't go over well with me because he is currently treating me! sigh

    One patient told me that she was later able to convince this same doc that it was her choice and that it a diagnosis did matter to her. (She was biopsied and is still waiting on the results.) Cure or no (current) cure, it is a little frustrating to me that not only is there too little funding in this area of research, but many doctors are uncooperative and/or uneducated in this area of medicine. You were pretty lucky to have been offered the option of the biopsy. But I can certainly understand the confusion of what direction to take here.


    [This Message was Edited on 10/20/2008]