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Physiol Biochem Zool. 2006 Nov-Dec;79(6):1033-45. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

Effects of the natural tidal cycle and artificial temperature cycling on Hsp levels in the tidepool sculpin Oligocottus maculosus.

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Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.


The rocky intertidal zone is characterized by a predictable cycle of environmental change cued by the ebb and flow of the tides. Tidepools are thus an excellent environment in which to determine whether predictability of environmental change can entrain an endogenous rhythmicity in heat shock protein (Hsp) levels. In this study, we monitored changes in Hsp mRNA and protein levels that occurred over the tidal cycle in tidepool sculpins and investigated whether there was an endogenous tidal rhythm in Hsp expression that persisted once the sculpins were transferred to a stable environment. Fluctuations in the tidepool environment increased hsc70, hsp70, and hsp90 mRNA levels, which translated into increased Hsc/Hsp70 and Hsp90 protein levels; however, this was not due to an endogenous tidal rhythm in Hsp levels because sculpins held under constant conditions did not show any rhythmicity in the expression of these genes. By exposing sculpins to an artificial temperature cycling regime that mimicked the temperature changes of a mid-intertidal pool, we were able to account for the direct role of temperature in regulating Hsp expression. However, there are additional extrinsic factors that likely integrate with temperature and result in differences between the hsp induction profiles that were observed in sculpins inhabiting their natural environment and those in cycling conditions in the laboratory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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