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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2 (1993), Issue 3, Pages 225-228

Enhanced levels of leukotriene B4 in synovial fluid in Lyme disease

1University Children's Hospital, Im Neuenheimer Feld 150, Heidelberg 6900, Germany
2Untere Hofstatt, Kraichtal 7527, Germany
3Institute of Hygiene, Im Neuenheimer Feld 324, Heidelberg 6900, Germany

Received 20 January 1993; Accepted 22 March 1993

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential role of LTB4 and cysteinyl leukotrienes in Lyme disease (LD). Therefore, a total number of 34 patients divided into four groups was studied. The patients were classified as having Lyme arthritis (n = 7) or Lyme meningitis (n = 10), and as control groups patients with a noninflammatory arthropathy (NIA) (n = 7) and healthy subjects (n = 10). LTB4 as well as LTC4 secretion from stimulated polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) from all groups of patients showed no statistical differences. LTB4 levels in synovial fluid were significantly increased in patients with Lyme arthritis (median 142 ng/ml, range 88–296) when compared to the control subjects with NIA (median 46 ng/ml, range 28–72) (p < 0.05). No statistical difference of urinary LTE4 levels between all the different groups of patients was observed. These results show that cysteinyl leukotrienes do not play an important role in the pathogenesis of LD. In contrast to previous findings in rheumatoid arthritis, LTB4 production from stimulated PMNL was not found to be increased in LD. However, the significantly elevated levels of LTB4 in synovial fluid of patients with Lyme arthritis underline the involvement of LTB4 in the pathogenesis of this disease.