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Third-party-funded project

Pathogenesis of Lyme arthritis: Interaction of synovial cells with Borrelia burgdorferi

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted to humans by ticks. Lyme disease and especially Lyme arthritis is characterized by inflammatory reactions in the synovial tissue. A presence of viable Borrelia
burgdorferi in the joint throughout the disease seems likely because molecular detection of Borrelia burgdorferi genomic material by PCR is routinely used for diagnostic purposes. It has been
suggested that Borrelia induces immunological mechanisms that either can amplify the inflammatory response of the host or, mainly in the initial phase of infection, can suppress it. The analysis of the
interaction of B. burgdorferi with human synovial cells in vitro is the main scientific focus of the project. To reveal the underlying mechanisms of chemoattraction and activation of responding leucocytes,
we investigate the induction of chemokines and molecules promoting inflammation, like prostaglandins and NO, in human synoviocytes exposed to different Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) sensu strictu
isolates. In addition, we are analysing the response of leukocytes being exposed to synoviocytes and borrelia with regard to chemokine receptors, stimulation, apoptosis, antigen specificity etc. We
expect to identify modes of interaction between the pathogen B. burgdorferi, human target cells of infection like synoviocytes and immune effector cells of the host.

Key words:
    Borrelia burgdorferi
    Lyme Arthritis
    synovial cell
    Synovitis pathogenesis

Projekt period: from 09.2001 to 08.2004

Funding institution:
Bund ,Granting date: 25.07.2001
Landeshaushalt Wissenschaftsministerium