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Analysis of the myenteric neural plasticity of duodenum of hamsters infected with Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum

Grant number: 18/06778-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Histology
Principal researcher:Renata de Britto Mari
Grantee:Italo Novais Cavallone
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an expanding zoonosis, both in case numbers and geographic distribution, and is associated with poor sanitation and environmental degradation. The increase in the number of VL cases in the coastal zone is a consequence of geographical factors, such as the disordered occupation of the urban space, the advance to the Atlantic forest region, the introduction of infected hosts, the domiciliation of the vector and the supply of new food sources. The links between biodiversity and disease are clear and sufficient to increase the local, regional and global urgency efforts to conserve natural ecosystems, as well as studies to understand the pathophysiology of the disease and accessible treatments for the population. As for the clinical manifestations, it is observed that the parasite has tropism by the organs of the immune system, such as the spleen, bone marrow and lymph nodes, however, the parasites that cause VL compromise other organs of vertebrates, including the gastrointestinal tract. In the VL, morphological alterations have been demonstrated throughout the digestive system; however, until now the dynamics of these alterations and their impact on the enteric nervous system have not been studied. Thus, this project aims to sequentially analyze the involvement of the myenteric plexus of the gilded hamsters duodenum (Mesocricetus auratus) infected by L. infantum, using as parameters the quantification and neuronal morphometry of two subpopulations of neurons (metabolically active and nitrergic). Infected hamsters will be euthanized after 30, 60 and 90 days post-infection, uninfected hamsters will also be euthanized in the same experimental periods. After sacrifices, the respective duodenums will be collected and submitted to NADH-dp techniques for the labeling of metabolically active neurons, and NADPH-dp for the labeling of nitrergic neurons, and intended for the morpho-quantitative analysis of myenteric neurons. The data obtained will be compared with the respective control groups. This project contributes to the understanding of the pathophysiology of VL, and may also provide subsidies to implement the chemotherapy of leishmaniasis. (AU)

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