Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Print version ISSN 0074-0276
COUTINHO, Eridan M. Malnutrition and hepatic fibrosis in murine schistosomiasis. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2004, vol.99, suppl.1, pp. 85-92. ISSN 0074-0276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762004000900015.
In this paper, four different approaches attempting to reproduce the schistosomal liver fibrosis in undernourished mice are reported: shifting from a deficient to a balanced diet and vice-versa, repeated infections, influence of the genetic background, and immunological response. Infections were performed with 30 cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and lasted at least four months. Undernourished mice were unable to reproduce the picture of "pipestem" fibrosis, except the C57 BL/10 inbred strain, four out of 21 mice developing the liver lesion. A link of this histological finding to the type of parasite strain can not be discarded at the moment. Repeated infections increased collagen deposition mainly in well nourished animals (seven out of 16 Swiss mice developed "pipestem"-like fibrosis). In undernourished infected Swiss mice the serum levels of soluble egg antigen specific antibodies IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b, and IgG3 were two to four times lower than those detected for well nourished controls. The decreased humoral immune response coupled to the morphological, morphometric, and biochemical results reinforce the influence of the host nutritional status on the connective tissue changes of hepatic schistosomiasis.
Keywords : Schistosoma mansoni; undernutrition; hepatic fibrosis; mouse.