After heat shock or other metabolic stress, heat shock proteins (Hsps) are expressed at high levels in all tissues and cells. The highly inducible 70 kDa heat shock protein (Hsp70) is associated with improved post-ischemic myocardial contractile recovery. Similarly, the small 27 kDa heat shock protein (Hsp27), that is abundant in muscle, is also linked with improved myocardial function after ischemic injury. Various Hsps have pro-survival functions that include chaperone, antiapoptotic and/or anti-inflammatory activity. In this review we will summarize our understanding of myocardial protection and present evidence for protection having time dependent aspects that appear to be stimulus dependent.
Keywords: Heat shock proteins, heart, ischemia, inflammation, myocardial protection, Hsp70, Hsps, Insulin-Induced Myocardial Protection, cytokines
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