Sex differences in the induced expression of Hsp70 and Hsp27 in the brain and heart of rats
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There are sex differences in degenerative disease prevalence in humans. Most models of degenerative disease use male animals. Examining female and male responses to stress may give insight into disease prevalence. Heat shock proteins are chaperones linked to damaged proteins in degenerative diseases and may be expressed differentially in females and males. My goal was to characterize the induced expression of Hsp70 and Hsp27 in the brain and heart of female and male rats. Rats were heat shocked, brains and hearts were removed 24 hours after, and western analyses were done to quantify the expression of these proteins. Immunofluorescence was used to localize Hsp70 and Hsp27 in the hippocampus. Overall, male rats have significantly greater induced expression of both Hsp70 and Hsp27 in the brain. In the hippocampus, Hsp70 was localized in blood vessels and microglia, and Hsp27 was localized in astrocytes, following heat shock.