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Braz J Med Biol Res. 1997 Nov;30(11):1305-8.

Molecular mimicry between cardiac myosin and Trypanosoma cruzi antigen B13: identification of a B13-driven human T cell clone that recognizes cardiac myosin.

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Laboratório de Imunologia de Transplantes, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil.


Previous reports from our group have demonstrated the association of molecular mimicry between cardiac myosin and the immunodominant Trypanosoma cruzi protein B13 with chronic Chagas' disease cardiomyopathy at both the antibody and heart-infiltrating T cell level. At the peripheral blood level, we observed no difference in primary proliferative responses to T. cruzi B13 protein between chronic Chagas' cardiopathy patients, asymptomatic chagasics and normal individuals. In the present study, we investigated whether T cells sensitized by T. cruzi B13 protein respond to cardiac myosin. T cell clones generated from a B13-stimulated T cell line obtained from peripheral blood of a B13-responsive normal donor were tested for proliferation against B13 protein and human cardiac myosin. The results showed that one clone responded to B13 protein alone and the clone FA46, displaying the highest stimulation index to B13 protein (SI = 25.7), also recognized cardiac myosin. These data show that B13 and cardiac myosin share epitopes at the T cell level and that sensitization of a T cell with B13 protein results in response to cardiac myosin. It can be hypothesized that this also occurs in vivo during T. cruzi infection which results in heart tissue damage in chronic Chagas' disease cardiomyopathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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