Cytokine networks initiated by means of innate immunity are regarded as a major determinant of host defence in response to acute infection by bacteria including Borrelia burgdorferi. Herein, we demonstrate that interferon (IFN)-α, either endogenously produced after exposure of cells to toll-like receptor-9-activating CpG oligonucleotides or provided as recombinant cytokine, weakens activation of the anti-bacterial interleukin (IL)-1/IL-22 axis in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells exposed to viable B. burgdorferi. As IFN-α has been related to pathological dissemination of the spirochaete, data suggest an immunoregulatory role of type I IFN in this context that is able to significantly modify cytokine profiles thereby possibly determining early course of B. burgdorferi infection.
Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi; host defence; immune response; inflammation; interferon-α; interleukin-1; interleukin-22; peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
© 2015 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.