Journal of cellular biochemistry

Heat Stress Induces Extended Plateau of Hsp70 Accumulation--A Possible Cytoprotection Mechanism in Hepatic Cells.

PMID 25857363


The relevance of heat preconditioning resides in its ability to protect cells from different kinds of injury by induction of heat shock proteins, a process in which the intensity of heat stress (HS) and duration of subsequent recovery are vital. This study evaluates the effects of moderate HS (45 min/43°C) and the time-dependent changes during recovery period of HSP70, Bcl-2 and p53 gene and protein expression in HepG2 cells. We also evaluated the effects of 0.4 mM aspirin (ASA) as a potential pharmacological co-inducer of HSP, both alone and in a combination with HS (ASA + HS). HS alone and ASA + HS caused a major up-regulation of HSP70 mRNA in the first 2 h, while HSP70 protein increased gradually and was especially abundant from 2 h to 24 h. Regarding Bcl-2, all treatments rendered similar results: gene expression was down-regulated in the first 2 h, after which there was protein elevation (12-48 h after HS). mRNA expression of p53 in HS- and (ASA + HS)-cells was down-regulated in the first 12 h. The immediate decrease of p53 protein after HS was followed by a biphasic increase. In conclusion, 0.4 mM ASA + HS does not act as a co-inducer of HSP70 in HepG2 cells, but promotes Bcl-2 protein expression during prolonged treatment. Our suggestion is that hepatic cells are most vulnerable in the first 2-6 h, but may have a high capacity for combating stress 12-24 h after HS. Finally, short-term exposure HS might be a "physiological conditioner" for liver cells to accumulate HSP and Bcl-2 proteins and thus obtain cytoprotection against an additional stress.