Heat Shock Proteins

  • Beppino C. Giovanella
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 267)


The finding that tumor cells are more thermosensitive than their normal counterparts (1–4) prompted research on the effect of heat on normal and neoplastic cells. In 1970, the phenomenon of thermotolerance was described for the first time (5). Cells of L12l0 leukemia after being exposed to sublethal hyperthermia (52% of BDF1 mice survivors after inoculation of l×104 L1210 cells treated for 2 hours at 42°C in Fischer medium versus 0% survivors after inoculation of same number of cells treated first at 40°C for 4 hours and afterward at 42°C for 2 hours). This result appears paradoxical. Cells that had received a more prolonged heat treatment (4 hours at 40°C + 2 hours at 42°C) survived better than cells less treated (2 hours at 42°C only). According to the nomogram used, the difference between 50% and 0% mice survival observed corresponded to a one-log difference in cell killing. It appeared that pre-treatment with heat rendered the cell capable to withstand further exposure to the same injury better than cells not pre-treated.


Heat Shock Heat Shock Protein Neoplastic Cell Sodium Arsenite HSP70 Gene Expression 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beppino C. Giovanella
    • 1
  1. 1.Stehlin Foundation for Cancer ResearchHoustonUSA

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