Trypanosoma cruzi strains and autonomic nervous system pathology in experimental Chagas disease.
Lesions involving the sympathetic (para-vertebral ganglia) and para-sympathetic ganglia of intestines (Auerbach plexus) and heart (right atrial ganglia) were comparatively analyzed in mice infected with either of three different strain types of Trypanosoma cruzi, during acute and chronic infection, in an attempt to understand the influence of parasite strain in causing autonomic nervous system pathology. Ganglionar involvement with neuronal destruction appeared related to inflammation, which most of the times extended from neighboring adipose and cardiac, smooth and striated muscular tissues. Intraganglionic parasitism was exceptional. Inflammation involving peripheral nervous tissue exhibited a focal character and its variability in the several groups examined appeared unpredictable. Although lesions were generally more severe with the Y strain, comparative qualitative study did not allow the conclusion, under the present experimental conditions, that one strain was more pathogenic to the autonomic nervous system than others. No special tropism of the parasites from any strain toward autonomic ganglia was disclosed.
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