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Chagas heart disease (CHD), caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, consists of a progressive myocarditis which may lead to congestive heart failure or sudden death. Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated that the experimental infection of mice with T. cruzi positively modulates the expression of CD40 by myocardial cells, whose ligation potentiates IFN-γ-induced IL-6 production. Herein, we investigate the role of the CD40/CD40L interaction during T. cruzi infection using a CD40-targeted peptide and evaluating parasitological, histopathological and serological parameters. To reproduce acute and chronic phases of theT. cruzi infection, we used two experimental models: Balb/c mice infected with RA strain of T. cruzi (Balb/c-RA) and C3H/HeN mice infected with Sylvio X-10/4 parasites (C3H/HeN-Sylvio), respectively. Balb/c-RA treated with CD40-tageted peptide since day 0 post infection (pi), were unable to control the acute infection dying within 23-26 days pi with marked tissue damage. In contrast, treatment of C3H/HeN-Sylvio treated with CD40-targeted peptide starting on day 30 pi resulted in amelioration of myocardial and skeletal muscle damage. Altogether, our results indicate a dual role of CD40/CD40L dyad in the control of T.cruzi infection as well as the associated pathology, depending on the timing of treatment initiation. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fernanda M Frank, David H Wagner, Miriam Postan, Patricia B Petray. Importance of CD40/CD40 dyad in the course of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi: Impact of its inhibition. Microbial pathogenesis. 2023 Oct;183:106327

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PMID: 37640275

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