Aiming to investigate the role of cytotoxic mechanisms in neuroborreliosis (NB), the cytokines IL-2, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-15, GM-CSF and the Th17-cytokine IL-17 were analyzed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma from NB-patients. NB-patients showed increased levels in CSF compared to controls of all analyzed cytokines except IL-15 but not in plasma. Blood lymphocytes from three NB-patients showed functional cytotoxicity in response to autologous Borrelia-infected macrophages. The findings support a role for cytotoxic mechanisms in the local immune response in NB and in addition suggest an increase of IL-17.
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