The current view is that bacteria need to enter the brain to cause inflammation. However, in mice infected with the spirochete Borrelia turicatae, we observed widespread cerebral inflammation despite a paucity of spirochetes in the brain parenchyma at times of high bacteremia. Here we studied the possibility that bacterial lipoproteins may be capable of disseminating from the periphery across the blood-brain barrier to inflame the brain. For this we injected normal and infected mice intraperitoneally with lanthanide-labeled variable outer membrane lipoproteins of B. turicatae and measured their localization in blood, various peripheral organs, and whole and capillary-depleted brain protein extracts at various times. Lanthanide-labeled nonlipidated lipoproteins of B. turicatae and mouse albumin were used as controls. Brain inflammation was measured by TaqMan RT-PCR amplification of genes known to be up-regulated in response to borrelial infection. The results showed that the two lipoproteins we studied, LVsp1 and LVsp2, were capable of inflaming the brain after intraperitoneal injection to different degrees: LVsp1 was better than LVsp2 and Bt1 spirochetes at moving from blood to brain. The dissemination of LVsp1 from the periphery to the brain occurred under normal conditions and significantly increased with infection. In contrast, LVsp2 disseminated better to peripheral organs. We conclude that some bacterial lipoproteins can disseminate from the periphery to inflame the brain.