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Am J Pathol. 2004 Feb;164(2):441-7.

Transplanted bone marrow cells repair heart tissue and reduce myocarditis in chronic chagasic mice.

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Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Salvador, BA, Brazil.


A progressive destruction of the myocardium occurs in approximately 30% of Trypanosoma cruzi-infected individuals, causing chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy, a disease so far without effective treatment. Syngeneic bone marrow cell transplantation has been shown to cause repair and improvement of heart function in a number of studies in patients and animal models of ischemic cardiopathy. The effects of bone marrow transplant in a mouse model of chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy, in the presence of the disease causal agent, ie, the T. cruzi, are described herein. Bone marrow cells injected intravenously into chronic chagasic mice migrated to the heart and caused a significant reduction in the inflammatory infiltrates and in the interstitial fibrosis characteristics of chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy. The beneficial effects were observed up to 6 months after bone marrow cell transplantation. A massive apoptosis of myocardial inflammatory cells was observed after the therapy with bone marrow cells. Transplanted bone marrow cells obtained from chagasic mice and from normal mice had similar effects in terms of mediating chagasic heart repair. These results show that bone marrow cell transplantation is effective for treatment of chronic chagasic myocarditis and indicate that autologous bone marrow transplant may be used as an efficient therapy for patients with chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy.

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