, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 340-348

Overexpression of Heat Shock Protein 70 in Stomach of Stress-Induced Gastric Ulcer-Resistant Rats

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Expression of heat shock protein 70, induced by an antiulcer drug, provides protection against gastric ulcers. However, the mechanisms responsible for this protection are not known. The expression in ulcer-resistant, spontaneously hypertensive rats was 2.8-fold higher than in normotensive rats. One hour after restraint and water immersion stress, strong nuclear immunoreactivity was observed in nuclei of surface epithelial cells at the crest of gastric mucosal folds, the first site of ulceration, only in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Heat shock cognate protein 70, which is expressed in mucus-secreting cells, was not overexpressed in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Heat shock protein 70 expression was attenuated by chemical sympathectomy, which also resulted in abolition of the increase of mucosal blood flow and aggravation of ulcers. Our results indicate that overexpression of heat shock protein 70 in the stomach seems to protect against gastric ulcers through its cytoprotective effects on gastric mucosa by increasing mucosal blood flow.