Treatment with low doses of aspirin during chronic phase of experimental Chagas' disease increases oesophageal nitrergic neuronal subpopulation in mice
Patients with Chagas' disease may develop dysfunctions of oesophageal and colonic motility resulting from the degeneration or loss of the myenteric neurons of the enteric nervous system. Studies have shown that the use of aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), influences the pathogenesis of the disease. However, this remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the consequences of treatment with low doses of aspirin during the chronic phase of Chagas' disease on oesophageal function. Twenty male Swiss mice, 60 days of age, were used. The animals were infected with Y strain of Trypanosoma cruzi, injected intraperitoneally. Aspirin was given at a dose of 50 mg/kg to some of the infected animals, from the 55th to 63rd day after inoculation on consecutive days, and from the 65th to 75th day on alternate days. We investigated food passage of time, wall structure and nitrergic neuronal population of the distal oesophagus. Our data revealed that the use of low doses of aspirin in chronic Chagas' disease caused an increase in the number of nitrergic neurons and partially prevented hypertrophy of the oesophagus. In addition, the aspirin administration impeded Chagas' diseases associated changes in intestinal transit time. Thus treatment with aspirin in the chronic phase of Chagas' disease changes the natural history of the disease and raises the possibility of using it as a new therapeutic approach to the treatment of this aspect of Chagas' disease pathology.