Mice carrying a defective leptin receptor gene (db/db mice) are metabolically challenged and upon infection with Trypanosoma cruzi (Brazil strain) suffer high mortality. In genetically modified db/db mice, (NSE-Rb db/ db mice), central leptin signaling is reconstituted only in the brain, which is sufficient to correct the metabolic defects. NSE-Rb db/db mice were infected with T. cruzi to determine the impact of the lack of leptin signaling on infection in the absence of metabolic dysregulation. Parasitemia levels, mortality rates, and tissue parasitism were statistically significantly increased in infected db/db mice compared with those in infected NSE-Rb db/ db and FVB wild-type mice. There was a reduction in fat mass and blood glucose level in infected db/db mice. Plasma levels of several cytokines and chemokines were statistically significantly increased in infected db/db mice compared with those in infected FVB and NSE-Rb db/db mice. These findings suggest that leptin resistance in individuals with obesity and diabetes mellitus may have adverse consequences in T. cruzi infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Infectious Diseases