December 26, 2005

Maybe M.S. disturbs heat shock proteins and we should take aspirin

From "The Hot Brain" by Carl V. Gisolfi and Francisco Mora (MIT Press, 2000.)
"Heat Shock Proteins [HSP] as Cell Thermometers, Stabilizers and Chaperones" (p. 174)

"In addition to the survival benefit associated with HSP accumulation through training and heat acclimatizations, numerous therapeutic benefits of HSPs are emerging, (Ezzell 1995) [Ezzell, C. Hot stuff: Medical applications of the heat-shock response. J. NIH Res. 7:42-45]. For example, hearts from mice genetically engineered to contain human HSP70 genes recovered twice the contractile force observed in control hearts following ischemia and reperfusion. Scientists are now searching for compounds that promote HSP production. One such compound is aspirin, which acts to induce heat shock factor (HSF).
HSF is the transcription factor that regulates HSP70 gene expession as a result of binding to the regulatory elements of the HSP70 gene. The heat shock response also improves the success of organ and tissue transplantaion." (pp. 178-179)

Very interestingly, the writers say that heat stroke, which can cause neuronal damage or sometimes death, may generate from either the gut or else the central nervous system because a hot temperature is responsible for cascading events in both and it's unclear which of the two suspects leads the damage. (Charted on p. 168.)

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