I keep hearing what seem to me contradictory beliefs about Rnase-L. I would like to figure it out once and for all. Hopefully, someone here can help me. If we're going to consider the possibile benefits of Ampligen, we _have_ to understand this. It also is important in general for us. Rnase-L, as you may or may not know, seeks out cells that have viruses in them. It then destroys the cells, killing the viruses inside as well as the killing the cells. Cell death is called "apoptosis." Here are my questions: 1. I believe that Rnase-L is higher than normal in CFS patients. It is busy destroying more cells than Rnase-L is in a normal patient. Is that true? Test results show that this is happening with my own Rnase-L, and that cell death is thus high. (See my results at the bottom of this post.) 2. It seems there are two schools of thought with regard to why Rnase-L is elevated in CFS patients. a) Rnase-L is broken and gone crazy. This means that the elevation is dysfunctional. b) Another part of the immune system (specifically, NK Cell activity) is broken and allowing a lot of viruses to go unchecked. The elevated Rnase-L is a measure of the body's determination to get rid of the viruses even if it has to kill a lot of cells in the process. This means the elevation is functional. Which one of these two seems to be correct? 3. I am of the impression that Ampligen is designed to increase Rnase-L activity. This would result in more cell death. Is this accurate? 4. The article bellow (Appendix 1) suggests that Ampligen is a bad drug because it increases Rnaase-L activity. This seems to correspond to the theory that Rnase-L is broken and has gone crazy. On the other hand, those who believe that Ampligen can be useful seem to think that sacrificing even _more_ cells for the sake of killing off the viruses inside them is worth it. Are these statements accurate? * Thanks for your help! * The following quote is from the letter the NCF wrote asking for the dismissal of Dr. DeMeirleir. It is detailed in swedeboy's thread on the matter: "The RNase-L is a molecule that, when it is activated, degrades single and double-stranded RNA that is both viral and cellular. It is vital to the apoptosis (programmed cell death) that is going on in ME/CFIDS. Usually, the RNase L molecule is carefully controlled by another molecule, the 37 KDalton, but this controlling molecule has been degraded and can no longer control this antiviral pathway. The results is the breaking apart (cleavage) or bending of some vital intracellular proteins. Indeed, the discoverer of this pathway's upregulation, Dr. Suhadolnik, once asked at an international conference on ME/CFIDS, why these patients with ME/CFIDS are still alive! "[Ed. Note: DeMeirleir also promotes the experimental drug, Ampligen in his book as he has for years..... It is known, from patents owned by the manufacturer of Ampligen, Hemispherx BioPharma, that Ampligen contributes to apoptosis (cell death) causing the road to malignancies to be far shorter. " ** My Test Results. 1) Rnase-L activity is high. It is killing more cells than a normal person's would. My value is 40. The reference range is 1-10. 2) Apoptosis is high. More cells are dying off than in a normal person's body. My value is 10.70%. Normal is 0-5%. 3) Intereferon Alpha-Serum is high. This means that my body is sending out signals that there are a lot of viruses present and that the immune system should kill them. My value is 412.0. The reference range is <12.5. This implies that I have a lot more viruses than the average person (or at least that my Intereferon Alpha thinks I do). 4) My Natural Killer Cell activation is low. Some would say the fact that this suggests that there are a lot of viruses that the Nk Cells should be but is not destroying. The body thus uses Rnase-L to sacrifice those cells so that the viruses in them will be destroyed, this theory goes. My value is 4. The reference range is 19-60. Considering that I seem to have a lot of viruses (based on the Alpha Intereferon value of 412), my NK Cells should be busy at work. This seems to mean that perhaps my Natural Killer Cell activity should be at the higher end of the scale (closer to 60 or maybe even above).