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Trypanosoma cruzi-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: Role in Neural Repair and Neuroprotection

Author(s): Marina V. Chuenkova | Mercio PereiraPerrin

Journal: Journal of Neuroparasitology
ISSN 2090-2344

Volume: 1;
Start page: 55;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: chagas disease | Trypanosoma cruzi | peripheral nervous system | parasite-derived neurotrophic factor

Some patients infected with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi develop chronic Chagas' disease, while others remain asymptomatic for life. Although pathological mechanisms that govern disease progression remain unclear, the balance between degeneration and regeneration in the peripheral nervous system seems to contribute to the different clinical outcomes. This review focuses on certain new aspects of host-parasite interactions related to regeneration in the host nervous system induced by the trans-sialidase of T. cruzi, also known as a parasite-derived neurotrophic factor (PDNF). PDNF plays multiple roles in T. cruzi infection, ranging from immunosuppression to functional mimicry of mammalian neurotrophic factors and inhibition of apoptosis. PDNF affinity to neurotrophin Trk receptors provide sustained activation of cellular survival mechanisms resulting in neuroprotection and neuronal repair, resistance to cytotoxic insults and enhancement of neuritogenesis. Such unique PDNF-elicited regenerative responses likely prolong parasite persistence in infected tissues while reducing neuropathology in Chagas' disease.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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