Caerulein pancreatitis increases mRNA but reduces protein levels of rat pancreatic heat shock proteins

Am J Physiol. 1997 Oct;273(4):G937-45. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.1997.273.4.G937.


We have recently reported that preconditioning through hyperthermia induces expression of pancreatic heat shock proteins (HSPs) and protects against caerulein pancreatitis. Here, we investigate caerulein-mediated effects on pancreatic HSPs without prior hyperthermia. Caerulein time and dose dependently increased pancreatic mRNA levels of the constitutive isoform of HSP70 (HSC70). However, pancreatic HSC70 protein levels were decreased, as were HSP60 protein levels. Also, in contrast to hyperthermia preconditioning, caerulein did not induce measurable levels of mRNA or protein of the inducible isoform of HSP70. Thus the pancreas reacts to different kinds of stress (hyperthermia vs. hyperstimulation) with differential induction of HSP mRNAs. Clearly, hyperthermia leads to induction of HSP protein expression, whereas caerulein treatment does not. Therefore, our current study further supports the idea that hyperthermia-induced protection against caerulein pancreatitis may be mediated through increased protein levels of pancreatic HSPs. It is further tempting to hypothesize that failure to appropriately increase HSP protein levels in response to high doses of caerulein might be a factor in the development of pancreatitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Ceruletide
  • Chaperonin 60 / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Pancreatitis / chemically induced
  • Pancreatitis / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chaperonin 60
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Ceruletide