Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Parasitol. 2009 Nov;39(13):1455-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.05.010. Epub 2009 Jun 6.

Enzymes of the antioxidant network as novel determiners of Trypanosoma cruzi virulence.

Author information

Departamento de Bioquímica and Center for Free Radical and Biomedical Research, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.


Virulence of Trypanosoma cruzi depends on a variety of genetic and biochemical factors. It has been proposed that components of the parasites' antioxidant system may play a key part in this process by pre-adapting the pathogen to the oxidative environment encountered during host cell invasion. Using several isolates (10 strains) belonging to the two major phylogenetic lineages (T. cruzi-I and T. cruzi-II), we investigated whether there was an association between virulence (ranging from highly aggressive to attenuated isolates at the parasitemia and histopathological level) and the antioxidant enzyme content. Antibodies raised against trypanothione synthetase (TcTS), ascorbate peroxidase (TcAPX), mitochondrial and cytosolic tryparedoxin peroxidases (TcMPX and TcCPX) and trypanothione reductase (TcTR) were used to evaluate the antioxidant enzyme levels in epimastigote and metacyclic trypomastigote forms in the T. cruzi strains. Levels of TcCPX, TcMPX and TcTS were shown to increase during differentiation from the non-infective epimastigote to the infective metacyclic trypomastigote stage in all parasite strains examined. Peroxiredoxins were found to be present at higher levels in the metacyclic infective forms of the virulent isolates compared with the attenuated strains. Additionally, an increased resistance of epimastigotes from virulent T. cruzi populations to hydrogen peroxide and peroxynitrite challenge was observed. In mouse infection models, a direct correlation was found between protein levels of TcCPX, TcMPX and TcTS, and the parasitemia elicited by the different isolates studied (Pearson's coefficient: 0.617, 0.771, 0.499; respectively, P<0.01). No correlation with parasitemia was found for TcAPX and TcTR proteins in any of the strains analyzed. Our data support that enzymes of the parasite antioxidant armamentarium at the onset of infection represent new virulence factors involved in the establishment of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center