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J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Sep;130(1-2):22-31.

Borrelia burgdorferi induces inflammatory mediator production by murine microglia.

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  • 1Department of Biology, 9201 University City Boulevard, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 28223, Charlotte, NC, USA.


Lyme disease has been associated with damaging inflammation within the central nervous system. In the present study, we demonstrate that Borrelia burgdorferi is a significant stimulus for the production of IL-6, TNF-alpha, and PGE(2) by microglia. This effect is associated with induction of NF-kappaB, and increased expression of Toll-like receptor 2 and CD14, receptors known to underlie spirochete activation of other immune cell types. These studies identify microglia as a previously unappreciated source of inflammatory mediator production following challenge with B. burgdorferi. Such production may play an important role during the development of Lyme neuroborreliosis.

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