Heat-shock response is associated with enhanced postischemic ventricular recovery

R. W. Currie, M. Karmazyn, Malgorzata Kloc, K. Mailer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

492 Scopus citations


In cells, hyperthermia induces synthesis of heat-shock proteins and the acquisition of thermotolerance. Thermotolerant cells are resistant to subsequent oxidative stress. In this study, heat-shocked hearts were examined for evidence of protection during ischemia and reperfusion. Rats were exposed to 15 minutes of 42° C hyperthermia. Twenty-four hours later their hearts were isolated and perfused and the contractility examined during and after ischemic perfusion. No protection was observed during ischemic perfusion. However, upon reperfusion heat-shocked hearts had recovery of contractility within 5 minutes of reperfusion, while control hearts showed no contractility at this time. Throughout 30 minutes of reperfusion heat-shocked hearts had significantly improved recovery of contractile force, rate of contraction and rate of relaxation. Creatine kinase release, associated with reperfusion injury, was significantly reduced from a high of 386.8 ± 78.9 mU/min/g heart wt for controls to 123.7 ± 82.9 mU/min/g heart wt for heat-shocked hearts at 5 minutes of reperfusion. Following 30 minutes of reperfusion, ultrastructural examination revealed less damage of mitochondrial membranes in the heat-shocked hearts. Further biochemical investigations revealed that the antioxidative enzyme, catalase, was significantly increased to 137 ± 12.7 U/mg protein in the heat-shocked hearts while the control value was 64.8 ± 8.3 U/mg protein. Hyperthermic treatment, which induces the heat-shock response, may be therapeutic for salvaging ischemic myocardium during reperfusion, through a mechanism involving increased levels of myocardial catalase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-549
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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