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Parasite control and skeletal myositis in Trypanosoma cruzi-infected and exercised rats

Novaes, Rômulo D., Gonçalves, Reggiani V., Penitente, Arlete R., Cupertino, Marli C., Maldonado, Izabel R.S.C., Talvani, André, Natali, Antônio J.
Acta tropica 2017 v.170 pp. 8-15
Chagas disease, Trypanosoma, animal models, catalase, chemokine CX3CL1, education programs, exercise, infectious diseases, inflammation, interleukin-10, lactic acid, leukocytes, lipids, mice, muscles, myosin heavy chains, myositis, necrosis, nitric oxide, oxidation, parasitemia, parasites, parasitism, phenotype, rats, reactive oxygen species, skeletal muscle, superoxide dismutase, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Non-pharmacological strategies have been rarely described in the treatment of infectious diseases. Although exercise training has been recently incorporated in the clinical management of Chagas disease, the rationale basis that supports this indication is poorly understood. Thus, we investigated the effect of an aerobic exercise on the parasitism, inflammation and oxidative tissue damage in a murine model of Trypanosoma cruzi-induced skeletal myositis. Wistar rats were randomized into four groups: trained not infected (TNI) and infected (TI), sedentary not infected (SNI) and infected (SI). A running training program was administered 5days/week for 9 weeks. Then, infected animals were inoculated with T. cruzi and followed up for another 9 weeks. Exercise training induced beneficial adaptations by increasing time to fatigue and lactate threshold in TNI and TI animals. SI animals presented higher parasitemia, skeletal muscle parasitism, cell necrosis, leukocyte infiltration, cytokines levels, reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide production, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, carbonyl proteins, myosin heavy chain I depletion, and increased catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities. Beyond attenuation in all these variables, TI animals showed reduced TNF-α, CCL-2/MCP-1 and CX3CL1, and increased IL-10 muscle levels. Furthermore, these animals presented higher CAT and SOD activities and reduced lipid and protein oxidation. Taken together, our findings indicated that exercise training induced a protective phenotype in T. cruzi-infected mice, enhancing host defenses against the parasite and attenuating the pathological remodeling associated with skeletal myositis, aspects potentially associated to an improved immunological and redox balance in infected animals.