Interactions between local renin angiotensin system and nitric oxide in the brain of Trypanosoma cruzi infected rats

Aline Silva Miranda, Milene Alvarenga Rachid, Cássio Ferraz Souza, Bruna da Silva Oliveira, Rodrigo Novaes Ferreira, Patrícia Massara Martinelli, Antônio Lúcio Teixeira, Elizabeth R.S. Camargos, Ana Cristina Simões e Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chagas’ disease (CD) is a zoonosis caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Besides being an important cause of cardiomyopathy, central nervous system (CNS) manifestations have also been reported in CD. Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS) plays a pathophysiological role in several brain disorders such as cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. A link between RAS and nitric oxide (NO) pathways has been described in CNS. For instance, Angiotensin-(1–7) increases NO expression in the brain, which may, in turn, help to control parasite load in response to T. cruzi infection. Herein, we investigated the levels of RAS components in the brain cortex in acute T. cruzi infection and the effect of L-NAME administration, an inhibitor of the enzyme NO synthase, in CNS infection and in RAS molecules. Male Holtzman rats were inoculated intraperitoneally with T. cruzi Y strain and received L-NAME or tap water from one day before the infection until 13 days post infection (dpi). Parasitemia was evaluated on alternate days from day 3 post-infection until day 13 in both T. cruzi infected groups. Histopathological analysis of the brain cortex was also performed. Brain cortex was collected from non-infected (controls) and infected rats at 13 dpi for RAS components assessment. Infected rats receiving L-NAME presented higher parasitemia, brain parasitism and inflammation compared with non-treated infected animals. The administration of L-NAME significantly decreased the levels of Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2). In conclusion, we provided preliminary evidence of the interaction between RAS and NO during the acute phase of T. cruzi infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalActa Tropica
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2
  • Central nervous system
  • Chagas disease
  • L-NAME
  • Nitric oxide
  • Renin angiotensin system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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