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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2007 Spring;12(1):83-95.

Hsp70 may protect cardiomyocytes from stress-induced injury by inhibiting Fas-mediated apoptosis.

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Institute of Health & Environmental Medicine, Tianjin, China.


Expression of Hsp70 is an endogenous mechanism by which living cells adapt to stress and the protection of Hsp70 may interfere with the apoptotic machinery in a variety of ways. Here, we observed the change of Hsp70 expression in rat myocardium under stress and explored the protective effect of Hsp70 on the Fas-mediated pathway to cardiomyocyte apoptosis. The results showed that restraint stress led to cardiac dysfunction and structural damage of the myocardium, as well as activation of the Fas pathway. A similar increase in the Fas expression level, caspase-8/3 activity, and the apoptotic rate of the cardiomyocyte also were found, which indicated that Fas-mediated apoptosis of cardiomyocytes might be one of the mechanisms of cardiomyocyte injury induced by stress. Changes in Hsp70 levels and distribution occurred during the stress process, which correlated with the severity of myocardium injury. Heat preconditioning induced the upregulation of Hsp70 synthesis, which in turn may have mitigated subsequent restraint stress-induced damage, including electrocardiography (ECG) abnormality, myocardium damage, and cell death. Moreover, Hsp70 overexpression induced by heat preconditioning had no effect on Fas expression in the cardiomyocyte, but could inhibit activation of caspase-8/3 induced by the Fas signaling pathway and, as a result, prevent cell apoptosis. These results suggest that Hsp70 is capable of protecting the cardiomyocyte from stress-induced injury by inhibiting Fas-mediated apoptosis, and Hsp70 could be considered a target in future drugs to prevent cardiovascular injury caused by stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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