Reduced levels of oxidized and glycoxidized proteins in human fibroblasts exposed to repeated mild heat shock during serial passaging in vitro

Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Dec 15;31(12):1593-602. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(01)00752-3.


Repeated mild heat shock (RMHS) has beneficial hormesis-like effects on various characteristics of human skin fibroblasts undergoing replicative senescence in vitro. We have tested whether RMHS could reduce the accumulation of oxidized and glycoxidized proteins, which is a major age-related change. Levels of carbonylated proteins, furosine, N(epsilon)-carboxymethyl-lysine-rich proteins and advanced glycation end products increased during serial passaging of fibroblasts in culture. However, the extent of accumulation of oxidized and glycoxidized proteins was significantly reduced in RMHS cells. The basal concentration of reduced glutathione was higher and that of oxidized glutathione was lower in RMHS cells. Whereas the basal level of heat shock protein HSP27 decreased in both RMHS and control cells during serial passaging, the increase of the basal level of HSP70 with increasing passage level was significantly higher in RMHS cells. These results show that the slower accumulation of damaged proteins in fibroblasts exposed to RMHS results partly from the increased ability of these cells to cope with oxidative stress, and to synthesize HSP responsible for protein capping and refolding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glycosylation
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Skin / cytology


  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Glutathione