One of the hallmarks of Chagas' disease (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi) is progressive cardiomyopathy. The disease is associated with increased serum TNF-α levels, and TNF-α is known to depress cardiac function. It is, however, not known whether the cytokines are produced within the infected myocardium. One-month-old male Lewis rats were injected with cell culture-derived T. cruzi trypomastigotes and killed 15 days post-infection. As compared to normal animals, histologic analysis of infected animals revealed dense infection with amastigotes within myocytes and a minimal inflammatory infiltrate in the myocardium. Northern blot analysis of total RNA revealed no signal for IL-1β or TNF-α, and a weak signal for IL-6 in the control rat hearts, and high levels of expression for the three genes in the infected rats. Western blots revealed results similar to that of mRNA levels, suggesting that, in addition to mechanical damage, infection by T. cruzi induces proinflammatory cytokine production in the myocardium itself, which may further exacerbate the pathology, and affect adversely myocardial function.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|State||Published - Jun 14 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology