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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2013 Nov;18(6):773-83. doi: 10.1007/s12192-013-0429-8. Epub 2013 May 2.

The role of heat shock proteins in inflammatory injury induced by cold stress in chicken hearts.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, 150030, People's Republic of China.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cold stress on the expression levels of heat shock proteins (Hsps90, 70, 60, 40, and 27) and inflammatory factors (iNOS, COX-2, NF-κB, TNF-α, and PTGEs) and oxidative indexes in hearts of chickens. Two hundred forty 15-day-old male chickens were randomly divided into 12 groups and kept at the temperature of 12 ± 1 °C for acute and chronic cold stress. There were one control group and five treatment groups for acute cold stress, three control groups, and three treatment groups for chronic cold stress. After cold stress, malondialdehyde level increased in chicken heart; the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in the heart first increased and then decreased. The inflammatory factors mRNA levels were increased in cold stress groups relative to control groups. The histopathological analysis showed that heart tissues were seriously injured in the cold stress group. Additionally, the mRNA levels of Hsps (70, 60, 40, and 27) increased significantly (P < 0.05) in the cold stress groups relative to the corresponding control group. Meanwhile, the mRNA level and protein expression of Hsp90 decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in the stress group, and showed a gradually decreasing tendency. These results suggested that the levels of inflammatory factors and Hsps expression levels in heart tissues can be influenced by cold stress. Hsps commonly played an important role in the protection of the heart after cold stress.

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