Myositis in Lyme borreliosis: an immunohistochemical study of seven patients

J Neurol Sci. 1993 Sep;118(2):207-12. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(93)90112-c.


Myositis is a rare complication of Lyme disease. In order to get information about the pathogenesis of this disorder, muscle specimens of 7 patients suffering from myositis as a manifestation of Lyme borreliosis were examined by immunohistology. Lyme spirochetes could be found in muscle biopsies of 6 patients. Infiltrates consisted mainly of macrophages and T helper/inducer cells. The T4/T8 ratio was 1.7 in the endomysium and 2.1 in the perimysium. Increased expression of MHC-I molecules by several muscle fibers was observed in 2 subjects only. No MHC-II molecules were expressed by muscle fibers. Lymphocytes expressing the interleukin-2 receptor were detected in 2 patients. Leu-15+ and Leu-11+ cells were found only to a slight extent in 2 patients. In conclusion the immunohistochemical findings in myositis due to Lyme borreliosis are different from other manifestations of this disease, and also from other forms of myositis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / immunology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / metabolism
  • HLA Antigens / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lyme Disease / complications
  • Lyme Disease / immunology
  • Lyme Disease / pathology*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / ultrastructure
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / pathology*
  • Myositis / etiology
  • Myositis / immunology
  • Myositis / pathology*
  • Nerve Degeneration / physiology
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology


  • Biomarkers
  • HLA Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I