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Evaluation of the effects of chemotherapeutic treatment against visceral leishmaniasis on intestinal morphophysiology of golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)

Grant number: 19/21557-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Pathological Anatomy and Clinical Pathology
Principal researcher:Renata de Britto Mari
Grantee:Sarah Kymberly Santos de Lima
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil


Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is a disease with extreme importance for public health, leading to death in 90% of untreated cases. Recently, a wide variety of studies have been conducted to investigate morphophysiological and histopathological changes in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) caused by the protozoan of the genus Leishmania, since the organs that make up the GIT have a close association with the immune system, and Leishmania's spread depends on macrophages, cells that are present in the gut. It is also known that VL is still a disease with no cure, whose current treatment is performed through chemotherapy, being often harmful to patients undergoing this process. Thus, the search for the development of effective drugs against promastigote and amastigote forms became popular, among them, the production of triterpene-based drugs, such as the mixture of ursolic acid and amphotericin B, has been tested to establish an efficient treatment of VV, also eliminating side effects in patients. However, there have been no reports of studies analyzing the therapeutic effects of this drug on TGI and its histological and morphophysiological changes. Thus, in continuation of the project developed previously, the present work aimed to investigate the morphophysiological changes in intestinal stratigraphy, as well as the population density of myenteric plexus neurons, occurring in the jejunum and ileum of experimentally infected hamsters by Leishmania infantum and submitted to treatment of ursolic acid and amphotericin B, using histological hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining techniques to measure intestinal stratigraphy; Schiff periodic acid staining technique (PAS); Alcian Blue pH 2.5 (AB) for staining of goblet cells and intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and the Giemsa histochemical technique to show the total population of myenteric plexus neurons.

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