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Effects of Trypanosoma cruzi infection on myocardial morphology, single cardiomyocyte contractile function and exercise tolerance in rats

Authors


Antônio José Natali
Department of Physical Education
Federal University of Viçosa
Av. Peter Henry Rolfs, s/nº
Zip code: 35.570-000
Viçosa-MG
Brazil
Tel.: +55 (031) 3899 4390
Fax: +55 31 3899 2249
E-mail: anatali@ufv.br

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) infection on myocardial morphology, single cardiomyocyte contractile function and exercise tolerance in rats. Adult Wistar rats were randomized into control (n = 14) and infected (n = 14) groups. Infected animals were inoculated with T. cruzi Y strain (300,000 trypomastigotes/50 g body weight). After 9 weeks, the animals were subjected to a treadmill running protocol. Then, the right atrium (RA) and left ventricle (LV) were removed for morphological and cell contractile evaluation. The infected animals exhibited a significant reduction in distance travelled, total time to fatigue and workload. In addition, these animals had hypertrophy, increased myocardial cellularity, and an increase in the proportion of collagen and blood vessels. RA and LV myocytes from infected animals showed marked contractile dysfunction under basal conditions and a reduced contractile response to β-adrenergic stimulation. The workload of infected animals was correlated closely with the amplitude of cell shortening of RA and LV myocytes. T. cruzi infection influenced the myocardial morphology and the mechanical properties of RA and LV single myocytes negatively and reduced exercise tolerance. Single cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction could constitute an additional mechanism of cardiac impairment and reduced exercise tolerance in this infection.

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