Several lines of evidence have shown that Trypanosoma cruzi interacts with host extracellular matrix (ECM) components producing breakdown products that play an important role in parasite mobilization and infectivity. Parasite-released antigens also modulate ECM expression that could participate in cell-cell and/or cell-parasite interactions. Increased expression of ECM components has been described in the cardiac tissue of chronic chagasic patients and diverse target tissues including heart, thymus, central nervous system and skeletal muscle of experimentally T. cruzi-infected mice. ECM components may adsorb parasite antigens and cytokines that could contribute to the establishment and perpetuation of inflammation. Furthermore, T. cruzi-infected mammalian cells produce cytokines and chemokines that not only participate in the control of parasitism but also contribute to the establishment of chronic inflammatory lesions in several target tissues and most frequently lead to severe myocarditis. T. cruzi-driven cytokines and chemokines may also modulate VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 adhesion molecules on endothelial cells of target tissues and play a key role in cell recruitment, especially of activated VLA-4+LFA-1+CD8+ T lymphocytes, resulting in a predominance of this cell population in the inflamed heart, central nervous system and skeletal muscle. The VLA-4+-invading cells are surrounded by a fine network of fibronectin that could contribute to cell anchorage, activation and effector functions. Since persistent "danger signals" triggered by the parasite and its antigens are required for the establishment of inflammation and ECM alterations, therapeutic interventions that control parasitism and selectively modulate cell migration improve ECM abnormalities, paving the way for the development of new therapeutic strategies improving the prognosis of T. cruzi-infected individuals.