Title: A Forgotten Disease: How Does Chagasic Cardiomyopathy Occur?
Speaker: Prof. Danilo Roman Campos, Departamento de Biofisica - Universidade Federal de São Paulo – Brazil
Time: Oct 30th, Wednesday, 2:00- 3:00pm
Venue: Building 24#-C406
Host: Prof. Michael Yuchi
Chagas disease is caused by the trypanosomatid Trypanosoma cruzi, which chronically causes heart problems in up to 30% of infected patients, which is known as Chagasic cardiomyopathy (CC). CC was initially restricted to Latin America. However, due to migratory events, this disease may become a serious worldwide health problem. During CC, many patients die of cardiac arrhythmia despite the apparent benefits of anti-arrhythmic therapy. In the last decade our group has advanced in the understanding of pathophysiology of the disease. Here I discus the main findings of our group in the context of how Trypanosoma cruzi infection affect heart function overtime, especially how the disease impact cardiomyocyte excitability. In an experimental model of CC we found that the disease leads to impaired control of cardiomyocyte excitability mostly due to aberrant nitric oxide and superoxide production. Our finds, in the long term, may help to develop more specific and effective pharmacological therapy.