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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276

Abstract

SILVA, Rafael Rodrigues et al. Short-term therapy with simvastatin reduces inflammatory mediators and heart inflammation during the acute phase of experimental Chagas disease. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2012, vol.107, n.4, pp. 513-521. ISSN 0074-0276.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762012000400012.

Trypanosoma cruzi infection induces progressive cardiac inflammation that leads to fibrosis and modifications in the heart architecture and functionality. Statins, such as 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors, have been studied due to their pleiotropic roles in modulating the inflammatory response. Our goal was to evaluate the effects of simvastatin on the cardiac inflammatory process using a cardiotropic strain of T. cruzi in a murine model of Chagas cardiomyopathy. C57BL/6 mice were infected with 500 trypomastigotes of the Colombian strain of T. cruzi and treated with an oral dose of simvastatin (20 mg/Kg/day) for one month and inflammatory and morphometric parameters were subsequently evaluated in the serum and in the heart, respectively. Simvastatin reduced the total cholesterol and inflammatory mediators (interferon-gamma, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, CCL2 and CCL5) in the serum and in the heart tissue at 30 days post-infection. Additionally, a proportional reduction in heart weight and inflammatory infiltration was observed. Simvastatin also reduced epimastigote proliferation in a dose-dependent manner in vitro and was able to reduce blood trypomastigotes and heart amastigote nests during the acute phase of Chagas disease in vivo. Based on these data, we conclude that simvastatin exerts a modulatory effect on the inflammatory mediators that are elicited by the Colombian strain of T. cruzi and ameliorates the heart damage that is observed in a murine model of Chagas disease.

Keywords : Chagas cardiomyopathy; Trypanosoma cruzi; simvastatin; chemokines; inflammation.

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