NK Cell ActivityCFS Cause or Effect

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Slayadragon, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I just had a discussion about this with someone and am too tired from my antiviral to look up the answer.

    It's increasingly clear that Natural Killer Cell activity tends to be very low in many, most or all CFS patients.

    Here are some possible reasons:

    1) NK Cell activity is low due to innate causes (e.g. heredity or maybe toxicity), and therefore allows viruses to infiltrate the body. These viruses cause the fatigue and other problems associated with CFS. This is because the viruses themselves are causing damage and/or because other parts of the immune system (specifically, interferon alpha serum) must do the work of fighting the viruses even though they're not as good at it as NK Cells are.

    2) One or more "stealth viruses" have invaded the body, and NK Cells have to work especially hard to keep them under control. This wears the Nk cells out. (These stealth viruses may or may not have been identified by medical researchers....new viruses are being discovered all the time, of course.)

    3) Some sort of virus attacks the NK Cells in some way, making them less effective. (This is similar to what the HIV virus does in AIdS, I think? I know little about AIDS though.....before my mind went to mush on this AV, I never thought it was relevant enough to my condition to seek out info on it.) This would be a virus that has yet to be identified (as the AIDS virus was not identified until after about two years of intensive searching). Some people are able to throw off this attack virus when it infiltrates, but others (when under significant stress and/or who have generally weaker immune systems with regard to fighting that particular bug) do not.....thus leading to chronic problems.

    4) More than one of the above.

    5) None of the above.

    This seems like a simple question, and so I can't believe I've never thought to ask it before. I've been sort of assuming one of those causes, but to ASS-U-ME is generally not a good idea.

    This question probably has been answered before. If it has, please supply.

    Otherwise, please chip in with guesses.

  2. cherylsue

    cherylsue Member

    Most CFS docs suspect HHV6 is the virus that goes in and does the damage. It also passes the blood brain barrier to the brain. It can go latent and then reactivate.

    Restoring the NK killer cells is only part of the puzzle, but nevertheless, an important one.

    Wish I could get my hands on Dr. Cheney's CD.

  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Thanks Cheryl Sue!!!

    If HHV6 is the problem, why don't most or all people have CFS?

    Obviously not everyone exposed to HHV6 has CFS.

    Also, I'm not sure if you mean that 1) HHV6 goes in, causes damage to the nk cells (in which case they are irreparably destroyed)......or if 2) the constant presence of HHV6 in the body causes problems with nk cells (in which case if the HHV6 could be eradicated, the nk cell activation should go up).

    It is my impression that Valcyte has some efficacy at killing hhv6. If that's the case, and if hypothesis 2) in the paragraph above is the cause, then NK cell activation should go up with Valcyte usage.

    Does anyone know if that's the case?

    My doc has talked to dr. Montoya of Stanford (apparently the Valcyte pioneer) and used Valcyte himself for a few months. I would guess he might know the answer, therefore. i'd rather not waste precious office visit time asking him if the answer is already clear in the literature.

    Upon reflection, I'm going to have to schedule two office visits in early december, so that I can go into these topics (and others) in more depth. With insurance, they cost $150 each (for a half hour), as long as they're scheduled on different days.

    Considering how little info there seems to be in this area--and how "serious" these treatments are--it seems like it might be worth it to have these sorts of answers.

    Since I will post info on the board, donations toward my costs are welcome. (Just kidding, absolutely. $300 is nothing in the scheme of things.....)
  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    According to Cheney, we got a viral infection and RNase-L was activated to destroy the virus. It prevents it from reproducing by destroying it's RNA. A virus is just RNA with a protein coat. For whatever reason, it remains highly activated and the problem is it destroys human messenger RNA also. This disrupts protein synthesis in the cells. Because everything depends on proteins and enzymes, inability to synthesize proteins causes serious disruption of normal functioning. We're sick because our cells can't function properly.

    Some cfs patients have the immune system unbalanced with th2 overactive. Th1 is needed to come in and deactivate RNase-L, but it never does. And in some cfs patients, a more destructive form of RNase-L is made and it stays active even longer and eventually affects the liver. It can then no longer do its job of detoxifying the body.

    I hope I somewhat answered your question. I'm not sure if NK cells are th1 or th2 or have anything to do with them. And now I'm too tired to look it up, too!

    hope you feel better
  5. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Hi, I didn't get past the first part of the RNase-L thing above but look at Cheney's article. The article is really long but the first thing he talks about is the RNase-L and how it disrupts cell function and this creates a cascade of problems including damage to the hpa axis and so on. I know when my hpa axis got severly damaged because that's when I stopped making antidiuretic hormone. It's here:


    Everyone should read this.
    It's encouraging, at least he says the damage isn't permanent.

  6. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Have you tried feeding the mitochondria?
    acetyl l carnitine

    If these don't work great, add these:


    If the illness was from over exertion, you may have damaged the mitos and/or you have alot of waste still to clean out of your body and the mitochondrian themselves; they will build up waste and get damaged. Have you given up wheat and dairy and tried to clean out, eat veggies and all that good stuff?
    After you do that, your liver will be a little more tolerant of food and supplements.

    Just FYI: I had exchanged emails with a guy at remedyfind.com and he had a problem exercising until he used arachidonic acid. I purchased a product called X Factor, but I haven't used it yet; I thought I'd wait until I could exercise.

    Sorry to be a pest, just want to help!


  7. cherylsue

    cherylsue Member

    This message board is a wonderful "think" tank. I feel like I'm working a sudoku puzzle trying to put everything into place to get a treatment to help me with my CFS.

    I'm sure the good doctors and researchers are sincere and have access to better tools than we do. However, where does sincerity end and avarice begin? Ego?

    And... I think this board offers insight from various personal experiences. Out of our desperate need to get well, I'm sure valid insights will be profound.

  8. fight4acure

    fight4acure Member

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