Alterations to the Cardiac Metabolome Induced by Chronic T. cruzi Infection Relate to the Degree of Cardiac Pathology

ACS Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 11;7(6):1638-1649. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00816. Epub 2021 Apr 12.


Chronic Chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCC) is a Neglected Tropical Disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The pathognomonic findings in symptomatic CCC patients and animal models includes diffuse cardiac fibrosis and inflammation with persistent parasite presence in the heart. This study investigated chemical alterations in different regions of the heart in relation to cardiac pathology indicators to better understand the long-term pathogenesis of this neglected disease. We used data from echocardiography, fibrosis biomarkers, and histopathological analysis to fully evaluate cardiac pathology. Metabolites isolated from the pericardial and endocardial sides of the right ventricular myocardium were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The endocardial sections contained significantly less cardiac inflammation and fibrosis than the pericardial sections. Cardiac levels of acylcarnitines, phosphocholines, and other metabolites were significantly disrupted in accordance with cardiac fibrosis, inflammation, and serum fibrosis biomarker levels. These findings have potential implications in treatment and monitoring for CCC patients.

Keywords: Chagas disease; cardiac metabolome; chronic Chagasic cardiomyopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chagas Cardiomyopathy*
  • Chagas Disease*
  • Heart
  • Humans
  • Metabolome
  • Trypanosoma cruzi*