Immunophenotype characterization of the cells involved in the fibrotic process of bovine livers chronically infected by Fasciola hepatica

D.R. Sousa M.A. Silva J.L. Sequeira A.P. Madureira L.C. Nunes About the authors

ABSTRACT

Fascioliasis is a parasitic disease caused by a fluke of the genus Fasciola sp., which can lead to end liver fibrosis. This study aimed to characterize the immunophenotype of cells that participate in the fibrogenesis of livers of cattle that face infection by F. hepatica. Fragments of the right and left lobes of 74 cattle livers with fascioliasis were used. The fragments were subjected to histological analysis, Masson's trichrome special stain, and immunohistochemistry. A descriptive statistical analysis was used, with a 5% probability in Spearman correlation test. The classification of degree of fibrosis revealed prevalence of grade 1, with a positive and significant association between the degree of fibrosis and the left hepatic lobe (ρ = 0.41; p <0.0001). The observed immunophenotypes corresponded to hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in the parenchyma and myofibroblasts (MFs) in the portal tract (PT). Fibroblasts were not found. There was no significant correlation between the degree of fibrosis and the amount of HSC in right and left hepatic lobes. There was an increase in the number of portal structures, as well as in the number of layers surrounding each structure of the PT, but there was no influence of any structure of the PT on the degree of liver fibrosis (P>0.05). HSCs and MFs were concluded to play a role in the fibrogenesis of cattle livers with chronic fascioliasis.

Keywords:
cattle; fascioliasis; fibrogenesis; immunohistochemistry

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