Role of IL-17, transforming growth factor-β, and IL-6 in the development of arthritis and production of anti-outer surface protein a borreliacidal antibodies in Borrelia-vaccinated and -challenged mice

Dean T. Nardelli, Kee Hang Kevin Luk, Nicholas J. Kotloski, Thomas F. Warner, Jose R. Torrealba, Steven M. Callister, Ronald F. Schell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


We showed recently that the adaptive immune events leading to the development of arthritis in Borrelia burgdorferi isolate 297-vaccinated and Borrelia bissettii-challenged mice involve IL-17. Here, we show in Borrelia-vaccinated and -challenged mice that two cytokines known to induce the production of IL-17, IL-6 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, are also involved in the development of arthritis. Vaccinated and challenged mice administered either anti-TGF-β or anti-IL-6 antibodies developed histopathologic changes of the hind paws similar to or greater than untreated control mice. By contrast, simultaneous blockage of these cytokines reduced the severity of arthritis in Borrelia-vaccinated and -challenged mice. Moreover, administration of anti-IL-17 antibodies to these dual-antibody-treated mice completely prevented the development of histopathologic changes of the ankle joints, significantly reduced edema of the hind paws, and prevented the production of anti-outer surface protein A borreliacidal antibodies. These findings demonstrate a role for the combined effects of IL-17, IL-6, and TGF-β in the adaptive immune events leading to the development of Borrelia-induced arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008



  • Arthritis
  • Borrelia
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • IL-17
  • Lyme arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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