Anaplasma phagocytophilum-Borrelia burgdorferi coinfection enhances chemokine, cytokine, and matrix metalloprotease expression by human brain microvascular endothelial cells

Dennis J. Grab, Elvis Nyarko, Nicole C. Barat, Olga V. Nikolskaia, J. Stephen Dumler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum coinfect and are transmitted by Ixodes species ticks. Clinical indicators suggest that A. phagocytophilum coinfection contributes to the severity, dissemination, and, possibly, sequelae of Lyme disease. Previous in vitro studies showed that spirochete penetration through human brain microvascular endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier is facilitated by endothelial cell-derived matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). A. phagocytophilum-inkcted neutrophils continuously release MMPs and other vasoactive biomediators. We examined B. burgdorferi infection of brain microvascular barriers during A. phagocytophilum coinfection and showed that coinfection enhanced reductions in transendothelial electrical resistance and enhanced or synergistically increased production of MMPs (MMP-1, -3, -7, -8, and -9), cytokines (interleukin 6 [IL-6], IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha), and chemokines (IL-8 and macrophage inflammatory protein 1α) known to affect vascular permeability and inflammatory responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1424
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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