Cardiac Noradrenalin in Relation to Protein Malnutrition in Chronic Experimental Chagas' Disease in the Rat

Conceição R. S. MachadoDepartments of Morphology and Biochemistry, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 30000 Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Tasso Moraes-SantosDepartments of Morphology and Biochemistry, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 30000 Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Angelo B. M. MachadoDepartments of Morphology and Biochemistry, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 30000 Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Rats inoculated with Trypanosoma cruzi were divided into two groups maintained, respectively, on a low and a rich protein diet. Ninety-eight days after inoculation the cardiac levels of noradrenalin in the well-nourished infected rats were not different from those of uninfected controls. In the malnourished group, however, these levels were around 50% of the control values. In addition, the adrenergic nerve terminals were clearly reduced in the auricular appendages of 87.5% of the malnourished infected rats. These results indicate that protein deficiency at least delays the recovery of noradrenalin levels that normally occurs during the chronic phase of experimental Chagas' disease.

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