Hypothalamic-Pituitary autoimmunity and related impairment o
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a severe chronic illness which reduces the quality of life. A potential role of neuroendocrine autoimmune dysfunction has been hypothesized.

This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of anti-pituitary (APA) and anti-hypothalamic (AHA) antibodies and possible related hypothalamic/pituitary dysfunctions in ME/CSF patients.

This is a case-control study conducted in University Hospital setting (Stanford, Naples). Thirty women with ME/CSF (Group 1) diagnosed according to Fukuda, Canadian, and IOM criteria, at Stanford University, were enrolled and compared with 25 age-matched healthy controls.

APA and AHA were detected by immunofluorescence; moreover, we investigated hormonal secretions of anterior pituitary and respective target glands and plasma and urinary osmolality. Both APA and AHA titers were assessed and the prevalence of pituitary hormone deficiencies was also investigated.

-- Patients in Group 1 showed a high prevalence of AHA (33%) and APA (56%) and a significant lower levels of ACTH/cortisol, and GH peak/IGF1 vs controls (all AHA/APA negative).

-- Patients in Group 1A (13 patients positive at high titers, more than 1:32) showed ACTH/cortisol and GH peak/ IGF1 levels significantly lower and more severe forms of ME/CFS with respect to patients in Group 1B (7 positive at middle/low titers,1:16-1:8) and 1C (10 Ab negative patients).

Conclusively, both AHA and/or APA at high titers associated with hypothalamic/pituitary dysfunction suggest that hypothalamic/pituitary autoimmunity may play an important role in the manifestations of ME/CFS, especially in its more severe forms.

Source: https://academic.oup.com/jcem/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1210/clinem/dgab429/6319899?redirectedFrom=fulltext