Heat shock proteins (Hsps) have been reported to play an important role in both physiological and pathological processes. Hsps also may serve as biomarkers for evaluating disease states and exposure to environmental stresses. Whether Hsp levels in serum and lymphocytes are correlated with age and sex is largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed serum Hsp70 (the most abundant mammalian Hsp) levels by using Western dot blot in 327 healthy male donors aged between 15 and 50 years. We also investigated the association between Hsp70 levels and age in lymphocytes of 80 normal individuals aged between 40 and 77 years because various chronic diseases increase after the age of 40 years. Our data showed that serum Hsp70 levels were positively correlated with age in subjects aged between 15 and 30 years (P < 0.05) but negatively correlated with age in subjects aged between 30 and 50 years (P < 0.05). Serum Hsp70 levels were the highest in individuals aged between 25 and 30 years among all age groups. In the lymphocyte study there also was a significant age-related decrease in Hsp70 levels in lymphocytes of individuals older than 40 years. The Hsp70 levels were negatively correlated with age (r = −3.708, P < 0.0001) but not with sex (r = −10.536, P = 0.452). This suggests that both serum and lymphocyte Hsp70 levels are age-related and that these may be linked to age-related stress. Thus, age is an important factor in using serum and lymphocyte Hsp70 as biomarkers to evaluate the disease states or exposure to environmental stresses (or both).
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1 March 2004
Serum and lymphocyte levels of heat shock protein 70 in aging: a study in the normal Chinese population
Robert M. Tanguay,