Navigation Links
Research examines environmental triggers altering gene function in CFS patients

TORONTO, ON A University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) researcher is examining how environmental triggers might alter gene function in people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The research could lead to better insights into the disease and eventually to new treatments.

Patrick O. McGowan, professor in the department of biological sciences and director of UTSC's Laboratory for Epigenetic Neuroscience, is looking at how environmentally triggered changes to gene expression might alter immune function and stress response in ways that contribute to the disease.

McGowan's field of study is epigenetics long-term changes in gene function that do not change the underlying DNA sequence. An epigenetic change wouldn't change a gene itself, but would influence whether, when and how the gene is turned off. Epigenetic changes can be caused by environmental triggers such as infections, toxins, stress, nutrition, and even the social environment.

McGowan will conduct the study into the epigenetics of CFS with a grant from the CFIDS Association of America. As part of the grant, he will have access to the SolveCFS Biobank, a collection of biological samples from CFS patients.

CFS, also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), is a complex and debilitating chronic illness that affects the brain and multiple body systems. Symptoms include incapacitating fatigue and problems with concentration and short-term memory. Millions of North Americans are thought to suffer from the disease.

McGowan will look specifically at the relationship between a system called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and immune function. The HPA axis is involved in the regulation of the stress response, and has effects on immune function and inflammation through cellular signaling mechanisms involving the steroid glucocorticoid.

McGowan's hypothesis is that there is an epigenetic mechanism in CFS that disrupts glucocorticoid signaling in white blood cells called lymphocytes. By studying tissue samples from the SolveCFS Biobank he hopes to pinpoint the mechanism.


Contact: Don Campbell
University of Toronto Scarborough

Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover how vitamin D inhibits inflammation
2. Study finds college students willing to donate genetic material to biobanks for research
3. Purdue researchers reveal role of protein mutation in Parkinsons disease
4. Engineering, geoscience faculty help lead $3 million NSF Delta research collaboration
5. UVic researchers among presenters at global science conference
6. AAAS-SFU research: Chilling climate-change related news
7. AAAS-SFU research: Linking human evolution and climate change
8. AAAS-SFU research: Controlling forest fires
9. Comments by the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research
10. Researchers develop better control for DNA-based computations
11. New research relationships developing due to dwindling dollars
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that ... muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for ... Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and ... . Cell, pinpoints a ... "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and verify ... Signature is considered as the secure and accurate ... identification of a particular individual because each individual,s ... accurate results especially when dynamic signature of an ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Minn. , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only ... in the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne ... individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Studies reveal the ... plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment for ...     --> --> ... health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about ... studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; TSX: AEZ) ... remain fundamentally strong and highlights the following developments: ... DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC Phase 3 ... final interim efficacy and safety data , ... with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant prostate cancer ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 The Global Genomics ... professional and in-depth study on the current state ... ) , The report ... definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The ... markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United ... recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA ... his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: