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Apoptosis in the morphology of Lyme borreliosis.

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Morphological, mainly ultrastructural changes in borreliosis has been the matter of contemporary interest indeed and it seems to be more and more clear that they are the product of an immunologic reaction. The aim of this study is to find out the epidermal changes of erythema migrans and acrodermatitis chronica on the ultrastructural level.


There were 14 cases of erythema migrans and 5 acrodermatitis examined and many apoptotic keratinocytes, but also Langerhans cells and melanocytes were the dominant findings. Considering the very short time needed for apoptosis there is a good reason to take our findings as an important component of the borreliosis pathogenesis.


The presence of many apoptotic cells in
Lyme disease epidermis emphasises the importance of the immunology in the borreliosis pathogenesis. The striking number of apoptotic melanocytes suggests the higher affinity of the borrelia to the neuroectodermal tissue.

Cas Lek Cesk. 1997 Mar 12;136(5):146-7. English Abstract

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