Characterization of the presence and distribution of Foxp3(+) cells in chagasic patients with and without megacolon

Alexandre B M da Silveira, Fernanda Fortes de Araújo, Michelle A Ribeiro Freitas, Juliana Assis Silva Gomes, Ana Thereza Chaves, Enio C de Oliveira, Salustiano G Neto, Alejandro O Luquetti, Gilmar da Cunha Souza, Roberto Bernardino Júnior, Ricardo Fujiwara, Débora d'Avila Reis, Rodrigo Correa-Oliveira
Human Immunology 2009, 70 (1): 65-7
Patients with Chagas's disease in the chronic phase regularly present with the chagasic megacolon. This form is characterized by inflammation, neuronal destruction, and organ dilatation. Chagasic patients with megacolon always present with inflammatory process near the enteric plexuses of the colon, as previously demonstrated. The aim of this study is to characterize the presence and distribution of Foxp3(+) cells in the muscle layers and neuronal plexuses area of the colon from chagasic patients with and without megacolon. Our results demonstrated that chagasic patients without megacolon presented with an increased concentration of Foxp3(+) cells in all colon layers compared with chagasic patients with megacolon and noninfected individuals. These cells were situated mainly near the blood vessels and rarely were associated with the inflammatory foci. We believe that the presence of Foxp3(+) cells may help to control the inflammatory process through the management of lymphocyte migration and, consequently, prevent neuronal destruction and chagasic megacolon development.

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