Mycoplasma bovis causes chronic arthritis in calves. Mycoplasma arthritis shows severe inflammatory reactions in joints that is commonly treated with antibiotics and results in significant economic losses in the calf industry. A previous study showed that inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) produced by synovial cells promote progression of the pathophysiology of bacterial arthritis. However, the mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of bovine Mycoplasma arthritis has not been fully clarified. In this study, we examined the immunologic response of bovine synovial tissue to M. bovis. We observed significant increases in expression of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MMP-1, and MMP-3 mRNA in synovial tissue from Mycoplasma arthritis calves compared with tissues from normal calves. Expression of IL-6, IL-8, and MMP-1 mRNA was also induced in cultured synovial cells stimulated with M. bovis, but not expression of IL-1β and MMP-3 mRNA. In contrast, the culture supernatant of peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with M. bovis induced marked increases in the expression of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MMP-1, and MMP-3 mRNA in synovial cells. Our results indicate that inflammatory cytokines and MMPs produced by synovial cells play a key role in the pathogenesis of Mycoplasma arthritis. We suggest that interactions between synovial cells and mononuclear cells in the presence of M. bovis induce expression of these cytokines and MMPs in synovial cells, resulting in severe inflammatory reactions in the joints. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.