Induction of heat-shock protein 72 protects against ischemia/reperfusion in rat small intestine

Gastroenterology. 1995 Aug;109(2):505-15. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(95)90339-9.


Background & aims: Induction of heat-shock protein 72 is associated with enhanced tolerance to subsequent nonthermal stresses. This study evaluated whether induction of heat-shock protein 72 protects against intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Methods: Groups of nonheated and heated rats underwent sham operation, 30 minutes of ischemia by occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery, or ischemia followed by 60 minutes of reperfusion. Whole-body hyperthermia to a core temperature of 41.5-42 degrees C for 15-20 minutes was followed by passive cooling 2-3 hours before the experiment. Samples of small intestine were obtained for determination of heat-shock protein 72 production and ex vivo generation of prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4 and for histological assessment of mucosal injury and number of neutrophils.

Results: Hyperthermia significantly increased heat-shock protein 72 production and significantly reduced ischemia/reperfusion-induced mucosal injury, neutrophilic infiltration, and leukotriene B4 production. Levels of leukotriene B4 and numbers of neutrophils were well correlated in nonheated (r = 0.72) but not in heated groups (r = -0.16). The elevation of prostaglandin E2 levels in response to ischemia and reperfusion was unaltered by hyperthermia.

Conclusions: The mechanism of heat stress-induced protection against intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury involves inhibition of leukotriene B4 production and subsequent prevention of neutrophil activation and chemotaxis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Fever
  • HSP72 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / blood supply
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / blood supply*
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Leukotriene B4 / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*


  • HSP72 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Leukotriene B4