We have recently described that in chondrocytic cells high hydrostatic pressure (HP) causes a heat shock response via mRNA stabilization without a transcriptional activation of the hsp70 gene. In this study, we investigated whether this exceptional regulatory mechanism occurs more generally in different types of cells. Indeed, hsp70 mRNA and protein accumulated in HeLa, HaCat and MG-63 cells under 30 MPa HP, without DNA-binding of heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) to the heat shock element of the hsp70 gene or formation of nuclear HSF1 granules, revealing a lack of transcriptional activation. Moreover, we observed that protein synthesis is needed for mRNA stabilization. Thus, high HP offers a model to study the mechanisms of hsp70 mRNA stabilization without HSF1-mediated induction of the heat shock gene response.