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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682On-line version ISSN 1678-9849


BORGES, Cláudia Renata Bibiano et al. Role of nitric oxide in the development of cardiac lesions during the acute phase of experimental infection by Trypanosoma cruzi. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2009, vol.42, n.2, pp.170-174. ISSN 0037-8682.

Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and the heart is the organ most affected. Nitric oxide has notable anti-Trypanosoma action, but with little evidence regarding its role in the mechanism for tissue injury. The objective of this study was to analyze the contribution of nitric oxide towards the development of inflammation and cardiac fibrosis during the acute phase of experimental infection by Y and Colombian strains of Trypanosoma cruzi. The inflammation was significantly more intense in animals infected with the Colombian strain, compared with those infected with the Y strain, both in C57BL/6 animals (3.98 vs 1.87%; p = 0.004) and in C57BL/6 animals deficient in inducible nitric oxide synthase (3.99 vs 2.4%; p = 0.013). The cardiac parasite load in inducible nitric oxide synthase-deficient C57BL/6 animals infected with the Colombian strain was significantly greater than in those infected with the Y strain (2.78 vs. 0.17 nests/mm2; p = 0.004), and also significantly greater than in the C57BL/6 infected with both the Colombian strain (2.78 vs 1.33 nests/mm2; p = 0.006) and Y strains (2.78 vs 0.53 nests/mm2; p = 0.005). The data confirm that nitric oxide has a role in parasite load control and suggest that it has a role in tissue protection, through controlling inflammation and potentially reducing cardiac lesions during the acute phase of Chagas disease.

Keywords : Chagas disease; Nitric oxide; Inflammation; Fibrosis.

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