Increased of the hepatocytes and splenocytes apoptosis accompanies clinical improvement and higher survival in mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi and treated with highly diluted Lycopodium clavatum

Microb Pathog. 2017 Sep;110:107-116. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2017.06.027. Epub 2017 Jun 20.


Recent evidence includes apoptosis as a defense against Trypanosoma cruzi infection, which promotes an immune response in the host induced by T cells, type 1, 2 and 17. Currently, there is no medicine completely preventing the progression of this disease. We investigated the immunological and apoptotic effects, morbidity and survival of mice infected with T. cruzi and treated with dynamized homeopathic compounds 13c: Kalium causticum (GCaus), Conium maculatum, (GCon), Lycopodium clavatum (GLy) and 7% alcohol solution (control, vehicle compounds, GCI). There was significant difference in the increase of apoptosis in the treated groups, compared with GCI, which might indicate action of the compounds in these cells. Infected animals treated with Lycopodium clavatum presented better performance compared with other groups. GLy showed a higher amount of hepatocytes and splenocytes undergoing apoptosis, higher number of apoptotic bodies in the liver, predominance of Th1 response, increased TNF-α and decreased IL-6, higher survival, lower morbidity, higher water consumption, body temperature, tendency to higher feed intake and weight gain compared with GCI. Conium maculatum had worse results with increased Th2 response with increased IL-4, worsening of the infection with early mortality of the animals. Together, these data suggest that highly diluted medicines modulate the immune response and apoptosis, affecting the morbidity of animals infected with a highly virulent strain of T. cruzi, being able to minimize the course of infection, providing more alternative approaches in the treatment of Chagas disease.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Cytokine; Homeopathy; Lycopodium clavatum; Trypanosoma cruzi.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Body Temperature
  • Chagas Disease / drug therapy*
  • Chagas Disease / physiopathology
  • Conium / chemistry
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drinking
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Hepatocytes / parasitology
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lycopodium / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Morbidity
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Spleen / drug effects*
  • Spleen / parasitology
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Survival Rate
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / immunology
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / pathogenicity*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Weight Gain


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-4