Cutting edge: T cell-mediated pathology in murine Lyme borreliosis

Maureen D. McKisic, William L. Redmond, Stephen W Barthold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Even in the absence of an appropriate model or direct evidence, T cells have been hypothesized to exacerbate the manifestations of Lyme disease. To define definitely the role of T cells in Lyme disease, the course of disease in immunocompetent and B cell-deficient mice was compared. By 8 wk postinoculation, immunocompetent mice resolved both carditis and arthritis, whereas foci of myocarditis and severe destructive arthritis characterized disease of B cell-deficient mice. Cell transfer experiments using infected B6-Rag1 knock out mice demonstrated that: 1) innate immunity mediated the initial sequelae of infection, 2) transferring both naive T cells and B cells induced resolution of carditis and arthritis, 3) infected mice reconstituted with T cells developed myocarditis and severe destructive arthritis, and 4) CD4+ T cells were responsible for the observed immune-mediated pathology. These data demonstrate directly the deleterious effect of T cells in Lyme disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6096-6099
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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