HSP70 expression is increased during the day in a diurnal animal, the Golden-mantled ground squirrel Spermophilus lateralis

Louise Bitting, Fiona L. Watson, Bruce F. O'Hara, Thomas S. Kilduff, H. Craig Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) gene expression was studied in a seasonal hibernator, the diurnal ground squirrel, Spermophilus lateralis. RNA transcripts of 2.7 and 2.9 kb hybridizing to an HSP70 cDNA were expressed in both brain and peripheral tissues of pre-hibernation euthermic animals; higher levels of expression were observed during the day than during nighttime samples. A decline in the expression of both transcripts occurred in all tissues examined during hibernation that remained low throughout the hibernation season, including the interbout euthermic periods and regardless of time of day. Quantitative comparisons showed pre-hibernation nighttime HSP70 expression to be as low as that observed during hibernation, despite the drastic increase in metabolic state and nearly 30°C difference in body temperature. In contrast to HSP70, some mRNAs, such as β-actin and HSP60, remained relatively constant, while others, such as glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, increased in specific tissues during the hibernation season. These results indicate that the expression of a highly conserved gene involved in protection from cellular stress, HSP70, can vary with an animal's arousal state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Dr. Michael Romero for performing the cortisol assay and Dr. Chaim Jabob for the HSP70 cDNA used in these studies. Research was supported by a National Institute of Health Pre-doctoral Fellowship MH17047, a Continuing Education Grant from the American Association of University Women to L.B., and grants from the Upjohn Company and the Army Research Office (DAAH04-95-1-0616).


  • Circadian
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Transcription regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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