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Effect of Borrelia burgdorferi OspC at the site of inoculation in mouse skin. Infect Immun 2010 Nov;78(11):4723-33 PMID: 20696825 PMCID: PMC2976318

Pubmed ID





The Borrelia burgdorferi surface lipoprotein OspC is a critical virulence factor, but its precise role in the establishment of B. burgdorferi infection remains unclear. To determine whether OspC affects the host response at the site of inoculation of the bacterium, the recruitment of macrophages and neutrophils and the production of cytokines were examined at the site of infection by wild-type, ospC mutant, and complemented mutant B. burgdorferi strains. Of the 21 cytokines tested, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC, CXCL1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were found at increased levels at the site of inoculation of B. burgdorferi, and the levels varied with the production of OspC at one or more time points over the 1-week course of infection. The kinetics of expression and the dependence on OspC production by B. burgdorferi varied among the cytokines. The production of KC and MCP-1, and the appearance of monocytic infiltrates, correlated with the presence of the bacteria rather than with OspC specifically. In contrast, VEGF production was not correlated simply to the presence of the bacteria and is influenced by the presence of OspC. In in vitro assays, OspC and B. burgdorferi expressing OspC stimulated the growth of endothelial cells more than did the controls. These data suggest the possibility of a novel role for OspC in the life of B. burgdorferi at the interface of its mammalian and tick hosts.

Author List

Antonara S, Ristow L, McCarthy J, Coburn J


Jenifer Coburn PhD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
James J. Mccarthy MD Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-78049430771   20 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antigens, Bacterial
Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
Borrelia burgdorferi
Lyme Disease
Mice, Inbred C3H
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Neutrophil Infiltration
jenkins-FCD Prod-321 98992d628744e349846c2f62ac68f241d7e1ea70