Borrelia-induced cytokine production is mediated by spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) but is Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 independent

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Although it is known that Borrelia species express sugar-like structures on their outer surface, not much is known about the role of these structures in immune recognition by host cells. Fungi, like Candida albicans, are mainly recognized by C-type lectin receptors, in specific Dectin-1 and Dectin-2. In this study we assessed the role of Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 in the recognition process of Borrelia spirochetes. Using specific inhibitors against these receptors on human cells did not influenced cytokine production. Individuals carrying a SNP leading to an early stop codon in the DECTIN-1 gene also did not lead to differential induction of Borrelia-dependent cytokines. After injection of live Borrelia into knee joints of Dectin-2 deficient mice a trend towards lower inflammation was observed. Inhibition of Syk in human cells resulted in lower cytokine production after Borrelia stimulation. In conclusion, Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 seem not to play a major role in Borrelia recognition or Borrelia-induced inflammation. However, Syk seems to be involved in Borrelia-induced cytokine production.

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