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Lymph node (LN) cells from C3H/HeJ mice (
Lyme disease susceptible) infected for 1 week with Borrelia burgdorferi strain JD1 produced higher levels of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) when stimulated in vitro with B. burgdorferi spirochetes than equivalent cells from B. burgdorferi-infected C57BL/6J mice (
disease resistant). The interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels were comparable in the two strains, whereas the IL-4 levels were below detection limits. B. burgdorferi-stimulated LN cells from C57BL/6J mice produced significantly higher levels of IFN-gamma in the presence of neutralizing anti-IL-10 antibody than cells cultured with B. burgdorferi alone. No effect of IL-10 neutralization on IFN-gamma production by LN cells from C3H/HeJ mice was observed. Neutralizing antibody to IFN-gamma had no effect on the production of IL-10 by LN cells from C57BL/6J mice. A slight decrease in IL-10 production was detected in culture supernatants of equivalent cells from C3H/HeJ mice. The differential effect of IL-10 on IFN-gamma production in C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ mice suggests that IL-10 is probably involved in the regulation of IFN-gamma production by LN cells during infection and may be at the root of the differential susceptibility to
Lyme arthritis in these two strains of mice.