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Infect Immun. 1994 Nov;62(11):5177-82.

Nitric oxide is involved in control of Trypanosoma cruzi-induced parasitemia and directly kills the parasite in vitro.

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Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.


This study was carried out to determine the role of reactive nitrogen intermediates in Trypanosoma cruzi infection. In vitro, splenocytes obtained during the acute phase of infection produced elevated amounts of nitric oxide (NO) that were correlated with the resistance or susceptibility of the animals. In vivo, the levels of NO2- plus NO3- in plasma during the later phase of infection were higher in C57BL/6 mice than in BALBL/c mice. The treatment of infected C57BL/6 mice with inhibitors of NO synthase increased parasitemia and mortality. Finally, we found that the NO donor drug S-nitroso-acetyl-penicillamine is able to kill trypomastigotes in vitro in the absence of any other cells, suggesting a direct NO-mediated killing of T. cruzi.

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