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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2008 Aug;15(8):1199-207. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00129-08. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Interleukin-23 is required for development of arthritis in mice vaccinated and challenged with Borrelia species.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, 465 Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


We recently hypothesized that T helper 17 (Th17) cells and their associated cytokines are involved in the development of arthritis following infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Here, we show that interleukin-23 (IL-23), a survival factor for Th17 cells, is required for the induction of arthritis in mice vaccinated with B. burgdorferi strain 297 and challenged with "Borrelia bissettii." When Borrelia-vaccinated and -challenged mice were given antibodies to the p19 subunit of IL-23, they failed to develop the histopathological changes observed in untreated vaccinated and challenged mice. In addition, viable B. bissettii organisms stimulated the secretion of IL-17 from Borrelia-immune lymph node cells during in vitro culture. When anti-IL-23 p19 antibody was included in cultures of B. bissettii organisms and Borrelia-immune lymph node cells, the production of IL-17 was reduced to levels observed in cultures containing immune cells alone. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that Th17 cell-associated cytokines are involved in the development of Borrelia-mediated arthritis. These findings provide insight into previously overlooked immune mechanisms responsible for the development of Lyme arthritis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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