Volume 49, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We have previously reported that heart lesions in patients with chronic cardiac Chagas' disease are composed predominantly of granzyme A+, cytolytic CD8+ T lymphocytes. We now pursue this study in the immunopathology of chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy by investigation of the expression of HLA antigens, and adhesion molecules in the hearts of seven chagasic patients with cardiac disease, two asymptomatic chagasic patients, and seven normal controls. Comparative immunohistochemical analyses show that HLA-ABC antigen expression is enhanced on the myocardial cells of chagasic patients with chronic cardiomyopathy, suggesting a possible role for these cells as targets for the CD8+ cytolytic lymphocytes dominant in these lesions. The HLA-DR antigens are not observed on myocardial cells, but are consistently upregulated on the endothelial cells in the hearts of patients with chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy. Intercellular adhesion molecule is expressed by endothelial cells of both chagasic and nonchagasic individuals, but E-selectin was detected only on vessels of hearts from chagasic patients who had chronic cardiomyopathy. Most of the lymphocytes in these lesions express lymphocyte function antigen-1 (LFA-1), CD44, and very late antigen-4, and a few display weak expression of LFA-3. We propose that the expression of these adhesion molecules and major histocompatibility complex antigens by endothelial cells, myocardial cells, and lymphoid cells in these lesions contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error