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Immunol Invest. 1998 Dec;27(6):367-77.

Detection of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and anti-Hsp70 antibodies in the serum of normal individuals.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Sciences (N.G.H.T.), Clinical Sciences Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.


Heat shock or stress proteins (Hsp) are typically regarded as being intracellular proteins that have a range of functions including the maintenance of cellular integrity. Members of the Hsp70 family of molecules have been implicated in the processing and presentation of antigen and the cross reactivity of lymphocytes specific for pathogen-derived heat shock proteins with self Hsp70 has been suggested to be an underlying cause of certain autoimmune diseases. This study reports the presence of soluble Hsp70 in the peripheral circulation of normal individuals. Concentrations of soluble Hsp70 in females were approximately twice those in males. Circulating anti-Hsp70 antibodies were detected in all individuals assessed, but there were no differences between males and females. However, there was a significant correlation between soluble Hsp70 concentration and antibody levels in males, but not females. The physiological role for circulating heat shock proteins is intriguing, but currently unknown. These findings extend our previous observations that Hsp60 is present in the peripheral circulation and support the proposition that soluble heat shock proteins may play a regulatory role in either the prevention or protection of pathophysiological processes involving inadvertent immunorecognition or cross-recognition of heat shock proteins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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