Exposure of rats to environmental heat enhances the expression of heat shock protein-72 (Hsp-72) in most of their organs proportionally to heat stress severity. Pre-induction or over-expression of Hsp-72 prevents organ damage and lethality, suggesting that heat shock proteins (Hsps) may have a pathogenic role in this condition. We investigated the expression profile of Hsps in baboons subjected to environmental heat stress until the core temperature attained 42.5°C (moderate heatstroke) or occurrence of hypotension associated with core temperature ≥ 43.5°C (severe heatstroke). Western blot analysis demonstrated a differential induction of Hsp-72 among organs of heat-stressed animals with the highest induction in the liver and the lowest in lung. Hsp-60 and Hsc-70 expression was similar between control and heat-stressed animals. ELISA studies indicated a marked release of Hsp-72 into the circulation of baboons with severe heatstroke with a peak at 24 h post-heatstroke onset and remained sustained up to 72 h. Hsp-72 release was not associated with core temperature or systolic blood pressure, but correlated with markers of liver, myocardium, and skeletal muscle tissue necrosis. Non-survivors displayed significantly higher Hsp-72 levels than survivors. No Hsp-60 was detected in the circulation. These findings add further evidence that increased expression of Hsp-72 may be an important component of the host response to severe heatstroke. They also suggest that extracellular Hsp-72 is a marker of multiple organs tissue damage. Whether extracellular Hsp-72 plays a role in the host immune response to heat stress merits further studies.
- Heat shock proteins
- Heat stress
- Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology