It has been demonstrated that parotid glands of rats infected with Trypanosoma cruzi
present severe histological alterations; changes include reduction in density and volume of the acini and duct systems and an increase in connective tissue. We evaluated the association between morphological changes in parotid glands, circulating testosterone levels and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) expression in experimental Chagas disease in rats. Animals at 18 days of infection (acute phase) showed a significant decrease in body weight, serum testosterone levels and EGF-R expression in the parotid gland compared with a control group. Since decreases in body weight could lead to a reduction in circulating testosterone concentration, we believe that the reduction in EGF-R expression in parotid glands of infected rats is due to alterations in testosterone levels and atrophy of parotid glands is caused by changes in EGF-R expression. Additionally, at 50 days (chronic phase) of infection parotid glands showed a normal histological aspect likely due to the normalization of the body weight. These findings suggest that the testosterone-EGF-R axis is involved in the histological changes.