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publicado em 24/10/2011 às 13h11:00
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Protein of the parasite that causes Chagas' disease combat and prevent LDL infarction

Incor-USP researchers managed to isolate compound that reduces bad cholesterol in patients with Chagas disease

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Scientists at the Heart Institute (Incor-USP) observed that carriers of Chagas' disease rarely suffer heart attacks. They isolated a protein of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes disease, and introduced in rabbits submitted to a diet rich in bad cholesterol (LDL). After a time, compared with other rabbits without the substance in the body and found that LDL levels were much lower in the first.

The observation in rabbits showed protective action against atherosclerosis. Reproduced in humans, experience with the protein called transialidase has proven effective in treating wounds resulting from radiotherapy. Another finding: Chagas patient undergoes continuous increase in the volume of the heart and may die of heart failure. But in many autopsies, Incor scientists noticed that the blood vessels of the corpses were in great condition with no evidence of cholesterol plaques.

To survive inside the human body, Trypanosoma cruzi uses transialidase for membrane sialic acid of human cells as the parasite is not able to produce it alone. This substance is also used as a molecular hook for bacteria to attach to the inner wall of the vessels. The researchers found that the Incor LDL boards are often associated with colonies of mycoplasmas, genus of bacteria that further complicates the picture of the patient.

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Treatment with transialidase rabbit who ate high-cholesterol diet preserved the vascular system of animals and caused damage in the arteries regress. Scientists believe the transialidase served to detach the bacteria associated with plaque formation.

Despite the promising results in cardiology, the transialidase been tested in humans in other situations. "We found that anti-inflammatory and prevents cell death," says researcher Maria de Lourdes Higuchi, responsible for research and director of the Laboratory of Inflammation and Infection of Incor. "We decided to test wounds caused by radiation."

The cardiologist José Antonio Ramires, Incor, one of the backers of the study, notes that there is no effective treatments available in the market to treat injuries that often accompany the radiotherapy.

The clinical oncologist Silvia Graziani, the Cancer Institute Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, agrees. She has tested the solution developed by Lourdes in people receiving radiotherapy at the Institute. "Preliminary results show that the healing time of wounds decreased from one month up to 15 days," he says. Injuries force many patients to abandon treatment. The hope is that the drug - even before the appearance of the wound - to increase adherence and treatment success.

   Palavras-chave:   Heart Institute    InCor    USP    Chagas disease    Stroke    Protein    Transialidase    Trypanosoma cruzi    Bad cholesterol    LDL      
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Heart Institute    InCor    USP    Chagas disease    stroke    protein    transialidase    Trypanosoma cruzi    bad cholesterol    LDL       
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