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Propensity to excessive proinflammatory response in chronic Lyme borreliosis

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Kisand KE, Prükk T, Kisand KV, Lüüs SM, Kalbe I, Uibo R. Propensity to excessive proinflammatory response in chronic Lyme borreliosis. APMIS 2007;115:134–41.

The clinical course of Lyme borreliosis is extremely variable. However, all the clinical manifestations, acute or chronic, are characterized by strong inflammation. Borrelia burgdorferi can induce the production of several proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The aim of our study was to find out whether the balance between inflammatory and regulatory mechanisms is important in determining the course of Lyme borreliosis. 13 patients with early Lyme borreliosis, 8 patients with chronic Lyme disease with neurological or joint manifestations, and 15 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were studied. Chronic forms of Lyme borreliosis were characterized by stronger TNF-α response by monocytes to lipopolysaccharide as well as to borrelia antigen compared to early Lyme borreliosis and the healthy state. The percentage of IL-10-secreting monocytes in response to borrelia lysate was lower in the Lyme borreliosis patients than in healthy controls. The percentage of CD4+ CTLA-4+ regulatory T cells showed the highest values in early Lyme borreliosis. We conclude that chronic forms of Lyme borreliosis can evolve due to an aberrant innate proinflammatory response.

Keywords: IL-10; Lyme borreliosis; TNF-α; monocyte; regulatory T cell

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Immunology, Institute of General and Molecular Pathology, Centre of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, 2: Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Tartu, 3: Neurology Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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