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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276

Abstract

KROLL-PALHARES, Karina et al. TNF/TNFR1 signaling up-regulates CCR5 expression by CD8+ T lymphocytes and promotes heart tissue damage during Trypanosoma cruzi infection: beneficial effects of TNF-α blockade. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2008, vol.103, n.4, pp. 375-385. ISSN 0074-0276.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762008000400011.

In Chagas disease, understanding how the immune response controls parasite growth but also leads to heart damage may provide insight into the design of new therapeutic strategies. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is important for resistance to acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection; however, in patients suffering from chronic T. cruzi infection, plasma TNF-α levels correlate with cardiomyopathy. Recent data suggest that CD8-enriched chagasic myocarditis formation involves CCR1/CCR5-mediated cell migration. Herein, the contribution of TNF-α, especially signaling through the receptor TNFR1/p55, to the pathophysiology of T. cruzi infection was evaluated with a focus on the development of myocarditis and heart dysfunction. Colombian strain-infected C57BL/6 mice had increased frequencies of TNFR1/p55+ and TNF-α+ splenocytes. Although TNFR1-/- mice exhibited reduced myocarditis in the absence of parasite burden, they succumbed to acute infection. Similar to C57BL/6 mice, Benznidazole-treated TNFR1-/- mice survived acute infection. In TNFR1-/- mice, reduced CD8-enriched myocarditis was associated with defective activation of CD44+CD62Llow/- and CCR5+ CD8+ lymphocytes. Also, anti-TNF-α treatment reduced the frequency of CD8+CCR5+ circulating cells and myocarditis, though parasite load was unaltered in infected C3H/HeJ mice. TNFR1-/- and anti-TNF-α-treated infected mice showed regular expression of connexin-43 and reduced fibronectin deposition, respectively. Furthermore, anti-TNF-α treatment resulted in lower levels of CK-MB, a cardiomyocyte lesion marker. Our results suggest that TNF/TNFR1 signaling promotes CD8-enriched myocarditis formation and heart tissue damage, implicating the TNF/TNFR1 signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target for control of T. cruzi-elicited cardiomyopathy.

Keywords : heart disease; inflammation; Trypanosoma cruzi; CCR5; TNFR1; TNF-α.

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