The Role of HSP70 Heat Shock Proteins in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2015 May-Jun;24(3):525-30. doi: 10.17219/acem/44144.


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) represent an important element in the body's defense against various damaging factors. The probably also play an important role in the pathogenesis and treatment of several diseases, including autoimmune pathology and neoplasms. Recently, several investigators have focused their attention on the involvement of the HSP70 protein family in the morbid process of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The HSP70 family of is represented by two distinct forms of protein, the HSP72 protein (also known as the HSP70.1 protein), the expression of which is clearly increased in conditions of stress; and the HSP73 (or HSC73) protein, which manifests stable expression. HSP70 proteins are present in the colorectal epithelium. In patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, their expression in significantly increased during the active stage of the disease. In experimental studies, overexpression of HSP70 was found to prevent the development of inflammatory process in the large intestinal mucosa provoked by various damaging factors. In physiological conditions, various mechanisms are considered to be responsible for an increased expression of HSP70. One of them involves lymphocyte activity and the production of cytokines (mainly IL-2). Another suggested mechanism involves the presence of bacteria in the large intestine, including both physiological flora (Lactobacillus GG, Bacteroides fragilis) and pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella, Escherichia coli). HSP70 expression is probably also increased by physical activity. There is also a potential for pharmacological stimulation of HSP70 expression, linked (for example) to geranylgeranylacetone, polaprezinc and mesalazine. Thus, augmentation of HSP70 expression may become a new element in IBD therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Colon / drug effects*
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / agonists*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins