The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether exposure to particles induces an imbalance in 70-kDa heat shock proteins (HSP70). Since intracellularly (iHSP70) it has anti-inflammatory roles whereas extracellularly (eHSP70) it has pro-inflammatory roles, we evaluate the effect of residual oil fly ash (ROFA) exposure on eHSP70-to-iHSP70 ratio (H index), a biomarker of inflammatory status that is related to oxidative stress in plasma and lymphoid tissue. Wistar rats that received ROFA suspension for three consecutive days (750 μg) showed an increase in plasma eHSP70 levels (mainly the 72-kDa inducible form). Also, ROFA promoted alterations on plasma oxidative stress (increased protein carbonyl groups and superoxide dismutase activity, and decrease sulfhydryl groups). There was an increase in H index of the plasma/thymus with no changes in circulating leukocyte level, iHSP70, or oxidative stress markers in lymphoid tissues. Our results support the hypothesis that eHSP70 content and H index represent inflammatory and oxidative biomarkers.
Keywords: Lymphoid tissue; Oxidative stress; Residual oil fly ash; eHSP70; iHSP70.