European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 5, pp 1773–1782 | Cite as

Strength training elevates HSP27, HSP70 and αB-crystallin levels in musculi vastus lateralis and trapezius

  • G. PaulsenEmail author
  • K. E. Hanssen
  • B. R. Rønnestad
  • N. H. Kvamme
  • I. Ugelstad
  • F. Kadi
  • T. Raastad
Original Article


A single bout of high-force exercise has been shown to increase the muscle levels of heat shock proteins (HSPs). Here, changes in the levels of HSPs after 2 and 11 weeks of strength training with either one or three sets per exercise were examined. Fifteen young men (27 ± 6 years, 182 ± 8 cm and 82 ± 13 kg) were randomized to train either one set in lower-body exercises and three sets in upper-body exercises (1L-3UB), or three sets in lower-body exercises and one set in upper-body exercises (3L-1UB). Biopsies from vastus lateralis and trapezius were obtained before, during (2 weeks) and after 11 weeks of strength training (3 bouts per week). The biopsies were analysed for HSP27 (cytosolic and cytoskeletal fractions) and HSP70 and αB-crystallin (cytosolic fraction). No evidence for an effect of training volume (1 vs. 3 sets) on the HSP response was found. For all subjects combined, HSP27 [186 ± 69% (mean ± SD)], HSP70 (146 ± 51%) and αB-crystallin (184 ± 82%) increased in the cytosolic fraction of vastus lateralis after 11 weeks of training. In the trapezius, the only observed increase was for HSP27 in the cytosolic fraction after 2 weeks of training (149 ± 59%). However, the trapezius contained somewhat higher levels of HSP70 and αB-crystallin than vastus lateralis at baseline. The HSP27 levels in the cytoskeletal compartment did not increase significantly in either muscle. In conclusion, strength training resulted—independent of training volume—in elevated levels of HSP27, HSP70 and αB-crystallin in the cytosolic compartment of the vastus lateralis. In the trapezius, only the cytosolic HSP27 levels were increased with training.


Stress proteins Resistance exercise Hypertrophy Adaptation to training 



The authors acknowledge the contribution to this study of Tormod Skogstad Nilsen and Wilhelm Egeland.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Paulsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. E. Hanssen
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. R. Rønnestad
    • 1
    • 3
  • N. H. Kvamme
    • 1
  • I. Ugelstad
    • 1
  • F. Kadi
    • 4
  • T. Raastad
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian School of Sport SciencesOsloNorway
  2. 2.Østfold University CollegeHaldenNorway
  3. 3.Lillehammer University CollegeLillehammerNorway
  4. 4.Örebro UniversityÖrebroSweden

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