Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1021–1035 | Cite as

Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA transcription is characterised by large, sustained changes in core temperature during heat acclimation

  • Oliver R. GibsonEmail author
  • James A. Tuttle
  • Peter W. Watt
  • Neil S. Maxwell
  • Lee Taylor
Original Paper


Increased intracellular heat shock protein-72 (Hsp72) and heat shock protein-90α (Hsp90α) have been implicated as important components of acquired thermotolerance, providing cytoprotection during stress. This experiment determined the physiological responses characterising increases in Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA on the first and tenth day of 90-min heat acclimation (in 40.2 °C, 41.0 % relative humidity (RH)) or equivalent normothermic training (in 20 °C, 29 % RH). Pearson’s product-moment correlation and stepwise multiple regression were performed to determine relationships between physiological [e.g. (Trec, sweat rate (SR) and heart rate (HR)] and training variables (exercise duration, exercise intensity, work done), and the leukocyte Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA responses via reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-QPCR) (n = 15). Significant (p < 0.05) correlations existed between increased Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA (r = 0.879). Increased core temperature was the most important criteria for gene transcription with ΔTrec (r = 0.714), SR (r = 0.709), Trecfinal45 (r = 0.682), area under the curve where Trec ≥ 38.5 °C (AUC38.5 °C; r = 0.678), peak Trec (r = 0.661), duration Trec ≥ 38.5 °C (r = 0.650) and ΔHR (r = 0.511) each demonstrating a significant (p < 0.05) correlation with the increase in Hsp72 mRNA. The Trec AUC38.5 °C (r = 0.729), ΔTrec (r = 0.691), peak Trec (r = 0.680), Trecfinal45 (r = 0.678), SR (r = 0.660), duration Trec ≥ 38.5 °C (r = 0.629), the rate of change in Trec (r = 0.600) and ΔHR (r = 0.531) were the strongest correlate with the increase in Hsp90α mRNA. Multiple regression improved the model for Hsp90α mRNA only, when Trec AUC38.5 °C and SR were combined. Training variables showed insignificant (p > 0.05) weak (r < 0.300) relationships with Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA. Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA correlates were comparable on the first and tenth day. When transcription of the related Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA is important, protocols should rapidly induce large, prolonged changes in core temperature.


Heat shock proteins Hyperthermia Core temperature Heat acclimation Thermotolerance 


Compliance with ethical standards

All protocols, procedures and methods were approved by the institutional ethics committee. Participants completed medical questionnaires and written informed consent following the principles outlined by the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2013 prior to commencing any preliminary or experimental sessions.


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver R. Gibson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • James A. Tuttle
    • 3
  • Peter W. Watt
    • 2
  • Neil S. Maxwell
    • 2
  • Lee Taylor
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre for Human Performance, Exercise and Rehabilitation (CHPER)Brunel University LondonUxbridgeUK
  2. 2.Centre for Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine (SESAME), Environmental Extremes Laboratory, Welkin Human Performance LaboratoriesUniversity of BrightonEastbourneUK
  3. 3.Muscle Cellular and Molecular Physiology (MCMP) and Applied Sport and Exercise Science (ASEP) Research Groups, Institute of Sport and Physical Activity Research (ISPAR)University of BedfordshireBedfordUK
  4. 4.Athlete Health and Performance Research CentreASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine HospitalDohaQatar
  5. 5.School of Sport, Exercise and Health SciencesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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