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Trends Parasitol. 2005 May;21(5):237-43.

The importance of aberrant T-cell responses in Chagas disease.

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Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Bloco G, Rio de Janeiro 21949-900, Brazil.


Persistence of Trypanosoma cruzi is associated with damage to the heart, which is a characteristic of Chagas disease. In this article, we discuss recently identified mechanisms of aberrant T-cell activation that are responsible for persistence of T. cruzi and cardiac injury. Among them, apoptosis of host cells drives T. cruzi replication in macrophages and is present in cardiac inflammation. It is proposed that phagocytic removal of infected apoptotic cardiomyocytes, combined with signaling through innate immune receptors, is required to initiate immune responses that damage the heart.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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