Cytokines

Red

Chlamydia pneumoniae and the Cytokine Response

 

Infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae has been shown to cause host cells to produce, for example, elevated levels of the following cytokines:

Chlamydophila pneumoniae Respiratory Tract Syndrome by Charles W. Stratton: Slides 21-22

Given this, it is important then to understand a little bit about cytokines and their functions and effects on the body in order to understand the potential effects that a persistent C. pneumoniae infection may have on the body.

In a nutshell, cytokines are really just chemical messengers that among other functions, are used by our immune systems to coordinate the activities of the various immune cells as well as the various organs of the body that are important for an effective immune response. Cytokines play an important role in stimulating the immune response, properly targeting the immune response, and, importantly, limiting the immune response.

Wikipedia: Cytokine

Very simply put, cytokines can be classified by function as being:

  • autocrine, if the cytokine acts on the cell that secretes it
  • paracrine, if the action is restricted to the immediate vicinity of a cytokine's secretion
  • endocrine, if the cytokine diffuses to distant regions of the body (carried by blood or plasma) to affect different tissues

Cytokines work together through extremely complex interactions in what has been termed the Cytokine Network (or Cytokine Cascade) through:

  • pleiotropy, if the cytokine has different biological effects on different target cells
  • redundancy, if two or more cytokines may have the same effect on a target cell
  • synergy, if the effect of more than one cytokine produces an effect greater than the additive effect of each cytokine alone
  • antagony, if a cytokine or cytokines decrease the effects of another cytokine or they decrease the effects of each other

Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, Immunology Bookcase: Cytokines

As mentioned above, cytokines play an important role in inflammation, and cytokines can loosely be divided into two categories based on their effects on inflammation:

Really it is the balance between these two categories of cytokines that is important in determining the net effect of the inflammatory response; however, the cytokines that have been shown to be elevated in C. pneumoniae infection are generally regarded as pro-inflammatory, with IL-1, IL-6, TNF-a being considered the major pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Cytokines, through their endocrine functions, have also been shown to play an important role in the Neuroimmune Network, and they have been shown to be responsible for communication between the immune system and neuroendocrine organs (including the brain, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands, testes, ovary, etc). Neural targets that control thermogenesis, behavior, sleep, and mood can be affected by pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Indeed, elevated IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-a appear to be widely known to have neuroendocrine effects (see diagram), while elevated levels of many of these cytokines have been associated with various psychiatric or "mential" disorders in studies, potentially suggesting a reason for why infection with C. pneumoniae has been associated with anxiety and depression:

Illness, Cytokines, and Depression

Plasma Levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha and Interleukin-6 in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

And increased levels of TNF-a have also been implicated in insulin resistance:

Secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha shows a strong relationship to insulin-stimulated glucose transport in human adipose tissue

There are, of course, many other examples of ways these cytokines likely influence neuroendocrine functions. Those listed above are really just a small subset, listed to explain the potential implications of elevated levels of these cytokines.

An uncontrolled feedback loop between cytokines and the various immune cells can cause what has been termed a Cytokine Storm or Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, which is basically an uncontrolled and exaggerated immune response to infectious or non-infectious assault. The following article discusses, in simple terms, a cytokine storm or overly aggressive immune response to pathogen (flu viruses in this case), but the same basic response occurs in a more limited way in any inflammatory reaction, including the inflammation that occurs with any infection, including the inflammation associated with C. pneumoniae:

Fluwiki: Cytokine Storm

In summary, in order to understand the full implications of infection by C. pneumoniae, it is important to understand the role that the associated elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines play in response to this pathogen, and it is important to understand that these elevated cytokines can effect the neuroendocrine network, potentially causing what might seem to be unrelated effects, including various thermogenic, behavioral, sleep, and mood effects in addition to the localized (or systemic) inflammation more generally recognized to be associated with this pathogen.

 Hey Red- Just add a paragraph for how Cpn stimulates/suppresses particular cytokines (I know you know some of the findings here) and we've got a nice page for the Handbook update!

CAP for Chlamydia pneumonia since 11/04. 25yrs CFS & FMS- Currently: 150mg INH, 200 Doxycycline, 500mg MWF Azithromycin, 1000mg Tini daily (Continuous protocol)

 

CAP for Cpn 11/04. Dx: 25+yrs CFS & FMS. Currently: 250 aithromycin mwf, doxycycline 100mg BID, restarted Tini pulses; Vit D2000 units, T4 & T3, 6mg Iodoral

Ditto! It is well done and nicely referenced. Good job Red. We have a nice page/reference for CPn upregulated cytokines on that on the slide presentation on the physicians page. marie On CAP since Sept '05 for MS, RA, Asthma, sciatica. EDSS at start 5.5. Currently on: Doxy 200, Azith 3x week, Tini cont. since April '07, all supplements. "Color out side the lines!"

On CAP since Sept '05 for MS, RA, Asthma, sciatica. EDSS at start 5.5.(early cane) Now 6 (cane full time) Originally on: Doxy 200, Azith 3x week, Tini cont. over summer '07, Revamp of protocol in Summer '08 by Stratton due to functional loss; clarithro

Red

Hi Jim & Marie,

Sorry to take so long on this, but I reworked the above to add a bit more info since you suggested adding it to the handbook. I tried to keep it fairly simple, but I including a few good linkouts for anyone interested in further details. Take a look at it and feel free to edit as you see fit.

I think I have this mostly correct, but if anybody sees anything wrong with this, please feel free to add comments for changes, as I've said before, I really don't have any medical background, and I'm certainly no expert on cytokines...

Thx as always...

 

 

 

On Combined Antibiotic Protocol for Cpn in Rosacea since 01/06

Treatment for Rosacea

  • CAP:  01/06-07/07
  • High-Dose Vit D3, NAC:  07/07-11/08
  • Intermtnt CAP, HDose Vit D3:  11/08-01/09
  • HDose Vit D3, Mg, Zn: 01/09-

Nice work Red. 

CAP for Chlamydia pneumonia since 11/04. 25yrs CFS & FMS- Currently: 150mg INH, 200 Doxycycline, 500mg MWF Azithromycin, 1000mg Tini daily (Continuous protocol)

 

CAP for Cpn 11/04. Dx: 25+yrs CFS & FMS. Currently: 250 aithromycin mwf, doxycycline 100mg BID, restarted Tini pulses; Vit D2000 units, T4 & T3, 6mg Iodoral

Red

Thx Jim. I enjoyed putting it together and learned quite a lot in doing so...

For instance from the link on TNF at the top, I had no idea it had been shown to be involved with insulin resistence among other things:

"It has a number of actions on various organ systems, generally together with IL-1 and Interleukin-6 (IL-6):


Amazing stuff.   No wonder blood sugar issues are such a problem for many of us...

 

 

On Combined Antibiotic Protocol for Cpn in Rosacea since 01/06

Treatment for Rosacea

  • CAP:  01/06-07/07
  • High-Dose Vit D3, NAC:  07/07-11/08
  • Intermtnt CAP, HDose Vit D3:  11/08-01/09
  • HDose Vit D3, Mg, Zn: 01/09-

Hey, thanks for the info Red, good work.  I know my brain with or without fog wouldn't be able to do what you just did. 

KUDOS

Blessings

Ruth

CFIDS/ME, FMS, IBS, EBV, Cpn, Babesia, insomnia (sleep- melatonin, GABA, tarazadone, temazepam, novocyclopine, allergy formula, 2 gm tryptophan), peri menopause- natural HRT, NAC 2 gm, Doxy 100 mg 2Xday, AZith 150 mg M/W/Fday

CFIDS/ME, FMS, MCS, IBS, EBV, CMV, Cpn, H1, chronic insomnia, Chronic Lyme, HME, Babesia, Natural HRT-menopause, NAC 2.4 gm,Full CAP 6-2-07, all supplements+Iodorol, Inositol-depression, ultra Chitosan, L lysine Pulse#27 04-19-10 1gm Flagyl/day-5 days<

Red,  It was already very good, but your page got slicker and shinier every time you tweaked it.  So, there is some of the linkage between Chronic Cpn infection and diabetes...very good to know.  Thanks,

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, antivirals, heavy metals chelation, LDN, Metanx, Lunesta, GF/CF diet, Lauricidin, oral IgG/lactoferrin/IGF-1 booster, astaxanthin, gamma oryzanol.

 

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, Cpn, Mpn, B. burgdorferi, systemic candidiasis, EBV, CMV & other herpes family viral infections, elevated heavy metals, gluten+casein sensitivity. 

I wrote this up a while ago, it doesn't specifically relate to CPn - but, this was my effort to explain cytokines (part of 102 post) in plain english. These are long posts. I do often go back to look at these when I run into words that I've forgotten what they mean.

http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2239-.html Understanding MS 101: Doctor talk and People Talk

http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-3034-.html Understanding MS 102: My Doctor is Expressing Cytokines

In pursuit of ABX

Don't Allow What You Know To Get In The Way Of What Might Be

 Notas- I fixed the links for you. These may be the best description of the cytokine system in (relatively!) understandable terms that I have seen. It's only the wealth of detail that is overwhelming, which leads me to recall that some world-expert on cytokines when asked said, "No one understands what's going on in the cytokine system (as a whole)."

CAP for Chlamydia pneumonia since 11/04. 25yrs CFS & FMS- Currently: 200 Doxycycline, 500mg MWF Azithromycin, Tini pulses.

 

CAP for Cpn 11/04. Dx: 25+yrs CFS & FMS. Currently: 250 aithromycin mwf, doxycycline 100mg BID, restarted Tini pulses; Vit D2000 units, T4 & T3, 6mg Iodoral