Heat shock protein (HSP) is a family of highly conserved proteins that respond to stress and participate actively in cytoprotection. Within the HSP family, HSP70 is the major inducible member that confers protection against cell death. This study investigated whether HSP70 plays a neuroprotective role at the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), the origin of sympathetic neurogenic vasomotor tone in the medulla oblongata where the organophosphate insecticide mevinphos (Mev) acts to elicit cardiovascular toxicity. Experiments were carried out in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats that were maintained under propofol anesthesia. Intravenous administration of Mev (960 μg/kg) induced a significant increase in the HSP70 level in the ventrolateral medulla during phase I ('pro-life' phase), and returned to baseline during phase II ('pro-death' phase) Mev intoxication. Compared to artificial cerebrospinal fluid, normal mouse serum (1:20), or sense hsp70 oligonucleotide (50 pmol) pretreatment, microinjection of an anti-HSP70 antiserum (1:20) or an anti-sense hsp70 oligonucleotide (50 pmol) bilaterally into the RVLM significantly increased mortality, shortened the duration of phase I intoxication and augmented the induced hypotension in rats that received Mev (960 μg/kg, i.v.). These results suggest that HSP70 induced in the RVLM during Mev intoxication provides neuroprotection against the organophosphate poison via prevention of cardiovascular depression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry, medical
- Pharmacology (medical)