Nonspecific proliferative responses of murine lymphocytes to Borrelia burgdorferi antigens

Mark S. De Souza, Erol Fikrig, Abigail L. Smith, Richard A. Flavell, Stephen W Barthold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Proliferative responses of naive splenocytes to Borrelia burgdorferi antigens from mice susceptible (C3H) and resistant (BALB) to Lyme borreliosis were investigated. B. burgdorferi spirochetes and recombinant outer surface proteins, OspA and OspB, were found to induce nonspecific proliferation of naive splenocytes from both strains of mice. Cell purification studies localized nonspecific proliferation to the B cell-enriched fraction. B. burgdorferi, OspA, and OspB were found to induce IgM and IgG synthesis in vitro. The mitogenic effect of B. burgdorferi was dissimilar to that of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in that B cells from C3H/HeJ mice (LPS-unresponsive) responded at levels comparable to those from C3H/HeNCrlBr mice. These results emphasize the need for caution in the study of antigen-specific proliferation for B. burgdorferi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-478
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology


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