ABSTRACT: Chagas heart disease (CHD), caused by Trypanosoma cruzi infection, is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in South and Central America. Enalapril, an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, is an important drug used to ameliorate heart functional capacity and its remodelling in individuals presenting CHD. In this study, we evaluated the effects of enalapril on systemic and cardiac immune response during experimental acute CHD. C57BL/6 mice infected with 50 trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi (Colombian strain) were treated daily with enalapril (25 mg/kg) and, after 30 days, a reduction in seric levels of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, CCL5/RANTES and nitric oxide, but not in that of IL-10, was detected. This imbalance of cytokines reflects in a reduction of heart mononuclear infiltration and in an increasing of cardiac mast cells. Enalapril also presents a new and interesting in vitro and in vivo anti-T. cruzi activity probably acting on parasite oxidative pathway via cytochrome-P450. Our data show that enalapril exerts an important anti-T. cruzi and anti-inflammatory activity during acute CHD reducing inflammatory cells and, possibly, preventing fibrotic process in the chronic phase. Nevertheless, further studies are still necessary to clarify the mechanisms by which this drug is acting on the parasites and on the immune pathways.
Parasite Immunology 03/2010; 32(3):202-8. · 2.60 Impact Factor