Polymorphisms in Genes Affecting Interferon-γ Production and Th1 T Cell Differentiation Are Associated With Progression to Chagas Disease Cardiomyopathy
- Chagas disease
- IL 10
Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is endemic in Latin America. Thirty percent of infected individuals develop chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy (CCC), an inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathy that is the most important clinical consequence of T. cruzi infection, while the others remain asymptomatic (ASY). IFN-γ and IFN-γ-producing Th1-type T cells are increased in peripheral blood and CCC myocardium as compared to ASY patients, while the Th1-antagonizing cytokine IL-10 is more expressed in ASY patients. Importantly IFN-γ-producing Th1-type T cells are the most frequent cytokine-producing T cell subset in CCC myocardium, while expression of Th1-antagonizing cytokines IL-10 and IL-4 is unaltered. The control of IFN-γ production by Th1-type T cells may be a key event for progression toward CCC. A genetic component to disease progression was suggested by the familial aggregation of cases and the association of gene polymorphisms with CCC development. We here investigate the role of gene polymorphisms (SNPs) in several genes involved in the control of IFN-γ production and Th1 T cell differentiation in CCC development.