Verapamil ameliorates clinical, pathologic and biochemical manifestations of experimental chagasic cardiomyopathy in mice

Stephen A. Morris, Louis M. Weiss, Stephen Factor, John P. Bilezikian, Herbert Tanowitz, Murray Wittner

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67 Scopus citations


The influence of long-term verapamil administration on the consequences of Trypanosoma crud infection in mice was studied with regard to animal mortality, morbidity, myocardial pathologic features and myocardial beta-adrenergic adenylate cyclase activity. Verapamil administration dramatically decreased the mortality rate from 60% to 6% during the 70 day period of infection. Three clinical stages of infection were evident. In the acute stage (17 days after infection with maximal parasitemia), verapamil treatment not only decreased the incidence of myocardial disease (fibrosis and inflammation), but also protected myocardial beta-adrenergic adenylate cyclase activity. In addition, there was no increase in total body weight, which was regarded as an index of right-sided heart failure. In the subacute stage (30 to 60 days after infection), administration of verapamil continued to decrease myocardial disease and preserve beta-adrenergic adenylate cyclase activity. In addition, verapamil ameliorated the morbidity and mortality associated with this stage of infection. The chronic stage of infection was characterized by a decrease in myocardial disease and in beta-adrenergic adenylate cyclase activity. Thus, independent of the state of infection, long-term verapamil treatment enhanced betaadrenergic adenylate cyclase activity. In addition, verapamil ameliorated the morbidity associated with infection. Although the relation among these various effects of verapamil in the setting of T. cruzi infection remains to be determined, collectively the results suggested that verapamil administration attenuated the consequences of T. cruzi infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-789
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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