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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2014 Sep;19(5):675-83. doi: 10.1007/s12192-014-0495-6. Epub 2014 Jan 29.

Upregulation of heat shock protein 32 with hemin alleviates acute heat-induced hepatic injury in mice.

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  • 1College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China.


Heat shock protein 32 (HSP32) is a stress response protein that can be induced by heat stress in the liver, and its induction can act as an important cellular defence mechanism against heat-induced liver injury. To investigate the functional role of HSP32 in protecting liver tissue against heat stress in mice and the mechanism by which it achieves this protective effect, HSP32 expression and carbon monoxide (CO) contents in a model of mice subjected to acute, transient heat exposure were examined. Furthermore, functional and histological parameters of liver damage and the possible involvement of oxidative stress to induce oxidative deterioration of liver functions and caspase-3 expression were also investigated in this study. We found that heat treatment of mice produced severe hepatic injury, whereas upregulation of HSP32 with hemin pretreatment prevented mice from liver damage. In contrast, addition of Sn-protoporphyrin (SnPP) to inhibit HSP32 expression completely reversed its hepatoprotective effect. It is concluded that upregulation of HSP32 by hemin could alleviate acute heat-induced hepatocellular damage in mice, and its by-product CO seems to play a more important role in hepatoprotective mechanism.

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