Effects of clomipramine on Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mice.

Trypanosoma cruzi, widely distributed in Latin American countries, provokes Chagas disease, characterized by cardiomyopathy and mega-viscera. The drugs used currently for treatment of acute Chagas disease are highly toxic; the side-effects are undesirable and patients may abandon treatment. We have previously demonstrated that clomipramine (CLO) exerts trypanocidal effects upon epimastigotes and trypomastigotes in vitro with anticalmodulin activity. The present study analyses the effectiveness of CLO treatment in mice infected with a low number of T. cruzi, an animal model that reproduces acute, indeterminate and chronic phases of this trypanosomiasis. In this work, our results demonstrated that CLO 5 mg/kg daily for 30 days, or 2 doses of CLO 40 mg/kg given intraperitoneally at 1 h and 7 days after infection, was not toxic for the host, but was effective against the parasite in that parasitaemias became negative and only mild heart structural and electrocardiographic alterations were detected in the chronic phase in the group treated with CLO 5 mg/kg. In mice treated with CLO 40 mg/kg, none of these alterations was detected. Cardiac beta receptor density and affinity returned to normal in the chronic stage in both experimental groups. T. cruzi enzymes such as calmodulin and trypanothione reductase represent potential drug targets. It has been reported that both can be inhibited by CLO, a tricyclic drug used in clinical therapeutics. We have shown that CLO strongly decreased the mortality rate and electrocardiographic alterations; in addition cardiac beta receptor density and heart histology returned to, or close to, normality 135 days post infection. These results clearly demonstrated that CLO treatment modified significantly the natural evolution of T. cruzi infection.
AuthorsH W Rivarola, A R Fernández, J E Enders, R Fretes, S Gea, P Paglini-Oliva
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg) 2001 Sep-Oct Vol. 95 Issue 5 Pg. 529-33 ISSN: 0035-9203 [Print] England
PMID11706667 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Clomipramine
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic (therapeutic use)
  • Chagas Cardiomyopathy (drug therapy)
  • Clomipramine (therapeutic use)
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Electrocardiography
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta (metabolism)
  • Survival Analysis
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

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