Antagonistic effect of atorvastatin on high fat diet induced survival during acute Chagas disease

Dazhi Zhao, Kezia Lizardo, Min Hui Cui, Kamalakar Ambadipudi, Jose Lora, Linda A. Jelicks, Jyothi F. Nagajyothi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Chagasic cardiomyopathy, which is seen in Chagas disease, is the most severe and life-threatening manifestation of infection by the kinetoplastid Trypanosoma cruzi. Adipose tissue and diet play a major role in maintaining lipid homeostasis and regulating cardiac pathogenesis during the development of Chagas cardiomyopathy. We have previously reported that T. cruzi has a high affinity for lipoproteins and that the invasion rate of this parasite increases in the presence of cholesterol, suggesting that drugs that inhibit cholesterol synthesis, such as statins, could affect infection and the development of Chagasic cardiomyopathy. The dual epidemic of diabetes and obesity in Latin America, the endemic regions for Chagas disease, has led to many patients in the endemic region of infection having hyperlipidemia that is being treated with statins such as atorvastatin. The current study was performed to examine mice fed on either regular or high fat diet for effects of atorvastatin on T. cruzi infection-induced myocarditis and to evaluate the effect of this treatment during infection on adipose tissue physiology and cardiac pathology. Atorvastatin was found to regulate lipolysis and cardiac lipidopathy during acute T. cruzi infection in mice and to enhance tissue parasite load, cardiac LDL levels, inflammation, and mortality in during acute infection. Overall, these data suggest that statins, such as atorvastatin, have deleterious effects during acute Chagas disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-686
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Adipose tissue
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Chagas disease
  • High fat diet
  • Lipidopathy
  • Metabolic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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