Sequence makes a difference: Paradoxical effects of stress in vivo

Joseph J. Wizorek, Craig M. Coopersmith, Jason M. Laramie, Alice Tong, Paul E. Stromberg, Richard S. Hotchkiss, Timothy G. Buchman, J. Perren Cobb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In vitro studies have shown that induction of heat shock before an inflammatory stimulus is cytoprotective, whereas induction of heat shock after an inflammatory stimulus can lead to apoptosis (the "heat shock paradox"). We sought to determine whether induction of the heat shock response in vivo caused similar, order-dependent effects on survival, and if so, by what mechanism. ND4 and C57BL76 mice were used to calibrate the response to hyperthermia at 41.5°C via induction of inducible heat shock protein 70. Sequences of heat shock and septic stresses were studied in murine models of hyperthermia (41.5°C for 20 min) and cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), respectively. Previous heat shock to 41.5°C did not protect CLP mice when compared with control CLP animals heated to 37°C, but heat shock increased mortality when activated after CLP compared with controls. This effect of heat shock on CLP mortality was strain independent, and did not involve alterations in CLP-induced thymus, spleen, or intestinal apoptosis. We conclude that the heat shock paradox can occur in vitro and in vivo, and that the negative effects of heat shock on survival after CLP appeared to be strain independent. Furthermore, the stress of general anesthesia and warming also altered CLP mortality unexpectedly. The cellular mechanisms responsible for these "stressor" paradoxes in vivo are not known, but do not involve altered sepsis-induced apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthesia
  • Apoptosis
  • Heat shock
  • Heat shock protein
  • Mouse
  • Survival


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