European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp 217–225 | Cite as

Exercise-induced extracellular 72 kDa heat shock protein (Hsp72) stimulates neutrophil phagocytic and fungicidal capacities via TLR-2

  • Esther Giraldo
  • Leticia Martin-Cordero
  • Juan Jose Garcia
  • Mathias Gerhmann
  • Gabriele Multhoff
  • Eduardo OrtegaEmail author
Original Article


This study evaluated the role of toll like receptor 2 (TLR-2) in the interaction of 72 kDa extracellular heat shock protein (Hsp72, a stress-inducible protein) with neutrophils and the participation on TLR-2 in the stimulation of neutrophil phagocytic and fungicidal capacities by post-exercise physiological concentrations of Hsp72. Human peripheral blood neutrophils were incubated with fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated Hsp72, and were analyzed by immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Both methods revealed an interaction of Hsp72 with neutrophils. In addition, when neutrophils were pre-incubated with an anti-TLR-2 antibody this interaction was clearly decreased. Post-exercise circulating concentration of Hsp72 (8.6 ng/ml) stimulated the phagocytic and fungicidal capacities of neutrophils and this effect could be also blocked using an antibody against TLR-2. Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and the nuclear transcription factor kappa β (NF-κβ) were found to be involved in the signaling process, confirming the participation of TLR-2 in the stimulation of neutrophil function by Hsp72. In conclusion, TLR-2 is involved at least in part, in the stimulation of neutrophil phagocytic and fungicidal capacities induced by post-exercise physiological concentrations of Hsp72.


ERK Hsp72 Neutrophils NF-κβ Phagocytosis and fungicidal capacity PI3K TLR-2 



This work was supported by grants of II (2PR04A076), III (PRI06A172) PRI, MICINN-FEDER (DEP2009-10041), and a fellowship from Consejeria de Educacion, Ciencia y Tecnologia of Junta de Extremadura, and Fondo Social Europeo.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esther Giraldo
    • 1
  • Leticia Martin-Cordero
    • 1
  • Juan Jose Garcia
    • 1
  • Mathias Gerhmann
    • 2
  • Gabriele Multhoff
    • 2
  • Eduardo Ortega
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of ExtremaduraBadajozSpain
  2. 2.Department of Radiation and Oncology, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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