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Differential expression pattern of heat shock protein 70 gene in tissues and heat stress phenotypes in goats during peak heat stress period

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Cell Stress and Chaperones Aims and scope


It has been established that the synthesis of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is temperature-dependent. The Hsp70 response is considered as a cellular thermometer in response to heat stress and other stimuli. The variation in Hsp70 gene expression has been positively correlated with thermotolerance in Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, rodents and human. Goats have a wide range of ecological adaptability due to their anatomical and physiological characteristics; however, the productivity of the individual declines during thermal stress. The present study was carried out to analyze the expression of heat shock proteins in different tissues and to contrast heat stress phenotypes in response to chronic heat stress. The investigation has been carried out in Jamunapari, Barbari, Jakhrana and Sirohi goats. These breeds differ in size, coat colour and production performance. The heat stress assessment in goats was carried out at a temperature humidity index (THI) ranging from 85.36–89.80 over the period. Phenotyping for heat stress susceptibility was carried out by combining respiration rate (RR) and heart rate (HR). Based on the distribution of RR and HR over the breeds in the population, individual animals were recognized as heat stress-susceptible (HSS) and heat stress-tolerant (HST). Based on their physiological responses, the selected animals were slaughtered for tissue collection during peak heat stress periods. The tissue samples from different organs such as liver, spleen, heart, testis, brain and lungs were collected and stored at −70 °C for future use. Hsp70 concentrations were analyzed from tissue extract with ELISA. mRNA expression levels were evaluated using the SYBR green method. Kidney, liver and heart had 1.5–2.0-fold higher Hsp70 concentrations as compared to other organs in the tissue extracts. Similarly, the gene expression pattern of Hsp70 in different organs indicated that the liver, spleen, brain and kidney exhibited 5.94, 4.96, 5.29 and 2.63-fold higher expression than control. Liver and brain tissues showed the highest gene expression at mRNA levels as compared to kidney, spleen and heart. HST individuals had higher levels of mRNA level expression than HSS individuals in all breeds. The Sirohi breed showed the highest (6.3-fold) mRNA expression levels as compared to the other three breeds, indicating the better heat stress regulation activity in the breed.

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The work was funded through project no. C4/C-30033(comp-IV) by the NAIP, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India. The authors thank Helen Neumann of the Cell Stress & Chaperones editorial office for the English language help.

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Correspondence to P. K. Rout.

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Institute Animal Ethics Committee (IAEC), Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG), Makhdoom, approved the experimental procedures.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Rout, P.K., Kaushik, R. & Ramachandran, N. Differential expression pattern of heat shock protein 70 gene in tissues and heat stress phenotypes in goats during peak heat stress period. Cell Stress and Chaperones 21, 645–651 (2016).

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