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Infect Immun. 1997 Apr;65(4):1273-85.

Borrelia burgdorferi migrates into joint capsules and causes an up-regulation of interleukin-8 in synovial membranes of dogs experimentally infected with ticks.

Author information

1
James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. rks4@cornell.edu

Abstract

Twenty 6-week-old specific-pathogen-free beagles were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by tick challenge, and five uninfected dogs served as controls. During the study, all dogs were monitored for infection, clinical signs, and antibody response against B. burgdorferi. During episodes of lameness or postmortem, synovial fluids from each dog were examined for volume, cell number, polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) content, cell viability, and chemotactic activity. Twenty-five tissues collected postmortem from each dog were tested for interleukin-8 (IL-8) mRNA, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA, presence of live spirochetes, and histopathological changes. Thirteen infected dogs (group A), which seroconverted rapidly (maximum titers within 50 to 90 days), developed acute and severe mono- or oligoarthritis almost exclusively in the limb closest to the tick bite (median incubation period, 66 days). Synovial fluids of the arthritic joints collected during episodes of lameness had significantly elevated volume, cell count, PMN proportion, cell viability, and chemotactic activity for PMNs. The remaining joints of the same animals contained synovial fluids with elevated chemotactic activity and cell viability. Twelve dogs tested positive for IL-8 mRNA in multiple tissues (synovia, pericardium, and peritoneum), and 10 dogs expressed TNF-alpha mRNA, but only in the tributary lymph nodes of the inflamed joints. Histological examinations revealed severe poly- or oligoarthritis and moderate to severe cortical hyperplasia in draining lymph nodes of the inflamed joints in all 13 dogs. Seven infected dogs with mild or no clinical signs (group B) seroconverted slowly (peak titers after 90 days), and only some joint fluids showed chemotactic activity, which on average was lower than that in inflamed and noninflamed joints from dogs in group A. Four dogs expressed IL-8 mRNA (in the synovia and pericardium), and three dogs had TNF-alpha mRNA in tributary lymph nodes. Histologically, nonsuppurative arthritis was found in multiple joints, and mild to moderate cortical hyperplasia was found in draining lymph nodes. Five uninfected dogs without lameness (group C) had normal synovial fluids and tissues. In all infected dogs, live spirochetes were demonstrated more frequently in tissues of the somatic quadrant closest to the tick bite than in tissues further from the site of infection, suggesting that dissemination of B. burgdorferi occurs more by migration than by blood-borne spread. From these studies employing a canine model of B. burgdorferi infection, we conclude that IL-8 is involved in the pathogenesis of acute Lyme arthritis.

PMID:
9119462
PMCID:
PMC175128
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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