Modulation of chagasic cardiomyopathy by interleukin-4: dissociation between inflammation and tissue parasitism

Am J Pathol. 2001 Aug;159(2):703-9. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)61741-5.


Chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CChC) is characterized by an inflammatory reaction which may eventually lead to heart enlargement, arrythmia, and death. As described herein, interleukin-4-deficient mice mount increased specific T helper (Th) 1 immune responses when infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, as compared to wild-type mice. Interestingly, these mice had reduced parasitism and mortality and exacerbated inflammation in their hearts, demonstrating a clear dissociation between inflammation and parasite load. The modulation of these phenomena so as to maximize host and parasite survivals may depend on a fine balance between Th responses, in which a Th1 response will, on one hand, control parasitism and, on the other hand, enhance heart inflammation throughout the course of the infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chagas Cardiomyopathy / genetics
  • Chagas Cardiomyopathy / immunology*
  • Chagas Cardiomyopathy / pathology
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interleukin-4 / deficiency
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics
  • Interleukin-4 / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Nude
  • Myocarditis / genetics
  • Myocarditis / immunology
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Parasitemia / immunology*
  • Parasitemia / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Time Factors
  • Trypanosoma cruzi


  • Interleukin-4