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Surgery. 1994 Aug;116(2):177-82.

Adrenergic regulation of adrenal and aortic heat shock protein.

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  • 1Laboratory of Endocrine Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287-5674.



Surgical stress results in catecholamine secretion and selective induction of the major heat shock protein (HSP70) in the adrenal gland and in the vasculature. The adrenal response is cortical-specific and corticotropin-dependent. The vascular response occurs in the smooth muscle and is corticotropin-independent. We previously suggested that the vascular response was associated with adrenergic receptor stimulation. Herein, we report a series of experiments designed to test the hypothesis that aortic HSP70 messenger RNA (mRNA) induction occurs as a direct and specific response to alpha 1-adrenergic receptor stimulation.


Acute and chronic indwelling central venous catheter models were developed in the Wistar rat through which the following agents were infused: the alpha 1 agonist phenylephrine (0.14 mg/kg), the beta agonist isoproterenol (0.8 mg/kg), the alpha 1 antagonist prazosin (1 mg/kg), prazosin followed by phenylephrine, or saline solution alone. Hemodynamic responses were monitored; catecholamines were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography; 60 minutes after infusion, the animals were killed, and the adrenal glands and aortas were assayed for HSP70 mRNA expression on Northern blots.


Alpha 1 stimulation with phenylephrine resulted in marked hypertension, a reflexive bradycardia, and marked induction of aortic HSP70 mRNA. This effect could be completely abolished when the alpha 1 antagonist prazosin was administered before phenylephrine treatment. The beta agonist isoproterenol failed to induce aortic HSP70. A significant catecholamine response only occurred after prazosin administration.


These studies show a functional interaction between alpha 1 receptor stimulation and vascular HSP mRNA induction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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