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Benznidazole treatment attenuates liver NF-κB activity and MAPK in a cecal ligation and puncture model of sepsis

Ronco, María Teresa, Manarin, Romina, Francés, Daniel, Serra, Esteban, Revelli, Silvia, Carnovale, Cristina
Molecular immunology 2011 v.48 no.6-7 pp. 867-873
Trypanosoma cruzi, antiparasitic agents, gene expression, inflammation, leukocytes, liver, macrophages, messenger RNA, mice, mitogen-activated protein kinase, models, nitric oxide, sepsis (infection), transcription factor NF-kappa B, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Recent studies have shown that Benznidazole (BZL), known for its antiparasitic action on Trypanosoma cruzi, modulates pro-inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide (NO) release in activated macrophages by blocking NF-κB through inhibition of IKK in vitro. As so far, little is known about the mechanism by which BZL provokes the inhibition of inflammatory response in sepsis in vivo, we aimed to delineate the possible role of BZL as a modulator in liver inflammation in mice with sepsis induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Specifically, we analyzed leukocytes, liver production of TNF-α and NO and the intracellular pathways modulated by these mediators, including NF-κB and MAPKs, in the liver of mice 24h post-CLP. Our results show that BZL reduces leukocytes in peripheral blood accompanied by an increase in peritoneal macrophages 24h after CLP. In the liver of these septic mice, BZL decreased expression of mRNA and protein for TNF-α and NOS-2 by inhibition of NF-κB and MAPK (p-38 and ERK). The body of evidence suggests that the immunomodulatory effects of BZL could act selectively, as it is able to decrease the systemic inflammatory reaction and the hepatic response but it can increase the number of cells in the site of infection.