Early response of heat shock proteins to functional overload of the soleus and plantaris in rats and mice.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are important factors in the response of skeletal muscles to chronic increases or decreases in activation and loading. The purpose of this study was to compare species-, time- and muscle-dependent changes in protein expression of Hsp20, Hsp25, αB-crystallin, Hsp72 and Hsp90 in response to functional overload (FO) in rats and mice. We compared protein levels of Hsp20, Hsp25, αB-crystallin, Hsp72 and Hsp90 in soleus and plantaris in baseline conditions and following 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 7 days (rats) or 3 and 7 days (mice) of FO. Baseline levels of all HSPs were higher in rat soleus than plantaris, whereas only baseline expression of Hsp20 was higher in mouse soleus than plantaris. Levels of Hsp72 and Hsp90 were higher in plantaris and soleus of FO than control mice and rats after 3 and 7 days of FO. Protein levels and phosphorylation of Hsp25 in mouse plantaris and soleus were higher than control levels after 3 and 7 days of FO, except for soleus at 3 days. αB-crystallin levels were higher in plantaris of FO than control mice after 3 and 7 days of FO and in FO than control rats after 7 days of FO. Heat shock protein 20 was the least responsive, increasing only in 7 day FO rat plantaris compared with control rats. Overall, the results demonstrate that levels of both large and small HSPs increase with FO, suggesting a contributory role during the compensatory hypertrophy response.