Immunopathological mechanisms underlying the time-course of Trichinella spiralis cardiomyopathy in rats

Nazareno Paolocci, Massimo Sironi, Marco Bettini, Giamprimo Bartoli, Slawomir Michalak, Claudio Bandi, Franco Magni, Fabrizio Bruschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The present study shows that isolated, perfused hearts from rats orally infected with Trichinella spiralis have a reduced left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), heart rate (HR) and coronary flow (CF). This reduction is considerably enhanced by a single bolus (100 pM) of PAF (platelet activating factor, an eosinophil activator), especially at 21 days post-infection (d.p.i.), which is the time of the maximum increase in blood and tissue eosinophilia. Helminthic DNA analysis shows that, from 21 d.p.i. onwards, the morphological and functional changes in the myocardium cannot be ascribed to the parasite's presence, whereas its antigens and the attendant immunopathological reactions might have a role in the induction of myocardial damage and dysfunction. Some perivascular inflammatory cells (eosinophils and mast cells) appear to undergo degranulation. All these data suggest a complex sequence of events, from acute myocarditis (21 d.p.i.) which may lead in time (48 d.p.i. onwards) to a dilating cardiomyopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Eosinophils
  • Myocarditis
  • PAF
  • Trichinella spiralis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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