Human monocyte heat shock protein 72 responses to acute hypoxic exercise after 3 days of exercise heat acclimation

Ben J Lee, Richard W A Mackenzie, Valerie Cox, Rob S James, Charles D Thake

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The aim of this study was to determine whether short-term heat acclimation (STHA) could confer increased cellular tolerance to acute hypoxic exercise in humans as determined via monocyte HSP72 (mHSP72) expression. Sixteen males were separated into two matched groups. The STHA group completed 3 days of exercise heat acclimation; 60 minutes cycling at 50% V̇O2peak in 40°C 20% relative humidity (RH). The control group (CON) completed 3 days of exercise training in 20°C, 40% RH. Each group completed a hypoxic stress test (HST) one week before and 48 hours following the final day of CON or STHA. Percentage changes in HSP72 concentrations were similar between STHA and CON following HST1 (P = 0.97). STHA induced an increase in basal HSP72 (P = 0.03) with no change observed in CON (P = 0.218). Basal mHSP72 remained elevated before HST2 for the STHA group (P < 0.05) and was unchanged from HST1 in CON (P > 0.05). Percent change in mHSP72 was lower after HST2 in STHA compared to CON (P = 0.02). The mHSP72 response to hypoxic exercise was attenuated following 3 days of heat acclimation. This is indicative of improved tolerance and ability to cope with the hypoxic insult, potentially mediated in part by increased basal reserves of HSP72.

© 2015, The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849809
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Acclimatization
  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HSP72 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia
  • Male
  • Monocytes
  • Time Factors

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