Role of endothelin 1 in the pathogenesis of chronic chagasic heart disease

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Infection and Immunity


On the basis of previous observations, endothelin 1 (ET-1) has been suggested as contributing to the pathogenesis of Chagasic cardiomyopathy. Therefore, ET-1flox/flox;α-MHC-Cre(+) mice in which the ET-1 gene was deleted from cardiac myocytes and ET-1flox/flox;Tie 2 Cre(+) mice in which the ET-1 gene was deleted from endothelial cells were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Genetic controls for these cell-specific ET-1 knockout mice were used. Ninety percentage of all mice survived acute infection with the Brazil strain and were evaluated 130 days postinfection. Inflammation and fibrosis were observed in all infected mice; however, fibrosis was reduced in ET-1flox/flox;α-MHC-Cre(+) mice. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed that infection resulted in a significant increase in right ventricular internal diameter (RVID) in all mice except ET-1 flox/flox; α-MHC-Cre(+) mice; i.e., RVID was not changed in infected ET-1flox/flox;α-MHC-Cre(+) mice. Echocardiography of the left ventricle demonstrated increased left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, reduced fractional shortening, and decreased relative wall thickness in infected mice. However, the magnitude of the changes was significantly less in ET-1flox/flox;α-MHC-Cre(+) mice compared to other groups. These data provide further evidence of a role for ET-1, particularly cardiac myocyte-derived ET-1, in the pathogenesis of chronic Chagasic cardiomyopathy. Copyright © 2005, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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