Heat shock protein (Hsp) 72 is a cytosolic protein that also is present in the circulation. Extracellular Hsp72 (eHsp72) is inducible by exercise and is suggested to act as a danger signal to the immune system. The adaptive response of eHsp72 to repeated exercise-heat exposures in humans remains to be determined. An intracellular animal study found a reduced Hsp72 response, with no change in resting levels, during heat stress after a single day of passive heat acclimation. The current study therefore tested whether adaptations in human eHsp72 levels would similarly occur 24 hours after a single exercise-heat exposure. Seven males completed cycle exercise (42.5% O2peak for 2 hours) in a hot, humid environment (38°C, 60% relative humidity) on each of 2 consecutive days. Blood samples were obtained from an antecubital vein before exercise and 0 hours and 22 hours postexercise for the analysis of eHsp72. Exercise-heat stress resulted in enhanced eHsp72, with a similar absolute increase found on both days (day 1: 1.26 ng/mL [0.80 ng/mL]; day 2: 1.29 ng/mL [1.60 ng/mL]). Resting eHsp72 decreased from rest on day 1 to day 2's 22-hour postexercise sample (P < 0.05). It is suggested that the reduction in resting eHsp72 after 2 consecutive exercise-heat exposures is possibly due to an enhanced removal from the circulation, for either immunoregulatory functions, or for improved cellular stress tolerance in this initial, most stressful period of acclimation.
- pharmacological science