Volume 59, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Heart autonomic innervation was studied in dogs during the acute phase of the experimental infection with the Berenice-78 strain of Trypanosoma cruzi. A glyoxylic acid-induced fluorescence method for catecholamines and a thiocholine method for demonstrating acetylcholinesterase activity showed the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nerve fibers, respectively. At day 34 of infection, moderate-to-intense rarefaction of both cholinergic and noradrenergic nerve fibers occurred in the atria of all animals coincident with moderate to intense myocarditis. In the ventricles, sympathetic denervation was clearly present only when the inflammatory processes were moderate to intense. Preliminary results on the chronic phase indicate that normal autonomic innervation coexists with an incipient chronic fibrosing myocarditis.


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