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Shock. 2003 Sep;20(3):274-9.

Heat shock pretreatment prevents cardiac mitochondrial dysfunction during sepsis.

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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, Republic of China.


The present study was designed to investigate the effect of previous heat shock treatment on the mitochondria function of the heart during a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis model. Rats of the heated group were heated by whole-body hyperthermia 24 h before the CLP operation. Cardiac mitochondria were freshly collected 9 and 18 h after CLP, indicating early and late sepsis, respectively. The expressions of heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72), glucose-regulated protein 75 (Grp75), and mitochondrial complexes I, II, III, and IV were evaluated by Western blot and immunochemical analysis. Enzyme activities of NADH cytochrome c reductase (NCCR), succinate cytochrome c reductase (SCCR), and cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) were measured after the reduction or oxidation of cytochrome c using a spectrophotometer. The results showed that the ATP content in the heart significantly declined during late sepsis, whereas heat shock treatment reversed this declination. The enzyme activities of NCCR, SCCR, and CCO were apparently suppressed during late stage of sepsis. The protein expressions of mitochondrial complex II and complex IV and Grp75 were also down-regulated during sepsis. Previously treated by heat shock, late-sepsis rats emerged with a high preservation of mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes, both the protein amount and enzyme activity. Aspects of morphology were observed by electron microscopy, while heat shock treatment revealed the attenuation of cardiac mitochondrial damage induced by sepsis. In conclusion, structural deformity and the decrease of respiratory chain enzyme activity in mitochondria and its leading to a decline of ATP content are highly correlated with the deterioration of cardiac function during sepsis, and heat shock can reverse adverse effects, thus achieving a protective goal.

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