Interleukin-35 (IL-35) has been reported to inhibit the production of interleukin-17 (IL-17) as a means of preventing arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. We previously showed that treatment of Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected mice with anti-IL-17 antibody at the time of infection prevented the development of arthritis. The anti-IL-17 antibody-treated mice lacked the extensive tissue damage, such as bone and cartilage erosion, that occurred in the tibiotarsal joints of untreated Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected control mice. We hypothesized that IL-35 would reduce the severity of arthritis by suppressing the production of IL-17 in Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected mice. Here, we show that administration of recombinant IL-35 (rIL-35) to Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected mice augments the development of severe arthritis compared to the results seen with untreated control mice. Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected mice treated with rIL-35 had significantly (P < 0.05) greater hind paw swelling and histopathological changes from day 4 through day 10 than non-rIL-35-treated Borrelia-vaccinated and -infected mice. In addition, the treatment with IL-35 only slightly decreased the production of IL-17 in Borrelia-primed immune cells and did not prevent the development of borreliacidal antibody. Our data do not support a role for IL-35 as a potential therapeutic agent to reduce inflammation in Lyme arthritis
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