Regulatory effects of IL-18 on cytokine profiles and development of myocarditis during Trypanosoma cruzi infection

Lísia Esper, Lara Utsch, Frederico M. Soriani, Fátima Brant, Rosa Maria Esteves Arantes, Camila F. Campos, Vanessa Pinho, Danielle G. Souza, Mauro Martins Teixeira, Herbert Bernard Tanowitz, Leda Quercia Vieira, Fabiana Simão Machado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc), is an important cause of heart disease. Resistance to Tc infection is multifactorial and associated with Th1 response. IL-18 plays an important role in regulation of IFN-γ production/development of Th1 response. However, the role of IL-18 in the setting of Tc infection remains unclear. Therefore, we investigated the role of IL-18 in the modulation of immune response and myocarditis in Tc infection. C57BL/6 and IL-18 KO mice were infected with Tc (Y or Colombian strain) and parasitemia, immune response and pathology were evaluated. Y strain infection of IL-18 KO did not alter any parameters when compared with C57BL/6 mice. However, during the acute phase (20 and 40 days post infection-dpi), Colombian strain infected-IL-18 KO mice displayed higher serum levels of IL-12 and IFN-γ, respectively, and at the chronic phase (100dpi) an increase in splenic IFN-γ-producing CD4+ and CD8+ T memory cells. There was an IL-10, FOXP3 and CD4+CD25+ cells reduction during acute infection in spleen. Additionally, there was a significant reduction in leukocyte infiltration and parasite load in myocardium of chronically infected IL-18 KO mice. Collectively, these data indicate that IL-18 contributes to the pathogenesis of Tc-induced myocarditis when infected with Colombian but not Y strain. These observations also underscore that parasite and host strain differences are important in evaluation of experimental Tc infection pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-490
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokine
  • IL-18
  • Myocarditis
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulatory effects of IL-18 on cytokine profiles and development of myocarditis during Trypanosoma cruzi infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this