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Compartmentalization of antigen specific cytokine responses to the central nervous system in CNS borreliosis: secretion of IFN-gamma predominates over IL-4 secretion in response to outer surface proteins of Lyme disease Borrelia spirochetes.

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Abstract

The neurological manifestations of
Lyme disease have been proposed to be partly due to cytokine-mediated immunopathological mechanisms. In this study, the number of Borrelia-specific cells secreting interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 was determined in blood and cerebrospinal fluid from patients with CNS borreliosis (n = 23), other neurological diseases (n = 20), and in blood from healthy controls (n = 10), utilizing an ELISPOT-assay. Elevated specific secretion of IFN-gamma was found in CNS borreliosis, most pronounced in cerebrospinal fluid, whereas secretion of IL-4 was strikingly low. This may indicate that symptoms are due to side effects of the immune response, since IFN-gamma secretion in the absence of corresponding levels of IL-4 may be associated with tissue destruction.

J Neuroimmunol. 1997 Nov;79(2):155-62. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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